good shows presents:
Omni + This is Lorelie + Alix Fernz
La Sala Rossa
4848 boul St Laurent
Le 6 Mars 2024
All Ages 19H
- No refunds
The music of Atlanta trio Omni has always swung fast and hit hard. And Souvenir, their fourth album and second for Sub Pop, packs their biggest punch yet. Inactive during the majority of the pandemic–the longest downtime in their history–they approached this recording with lots of pent-up energy. Guitarist Frankie Broyles, singer/bassist Philip Frobos, and drummer Chris Yonker converted their creative fuel into sharp, driving songs that land immediately, sporting chopping riffs, staccato beats, and wiry melodies.
Why does Souvenir sound so sharp? Because each track is a compact unit that stands on its own, reflecting the time and place in which it was created. That’s why Omni called the album Souvenir: it’s a collection of audio objects, a stash of musical miniatures. Think of it as a family photo album, a binder of rare playing cards, a shoebox holding precious gems.
Take “Plastic Pyramid,” the first song Omni wrote after coming out of lockdown. Filled with twists and turns, it’s a journey unto itself, charged by clanging chords, spinning rhythm, and Frobos trading lines with Izzy Glaudini of Automatic, with whom Omni toured with last fall. (Glaudini sings on two other Souvenir tracks, the first guest vocalist the band has collaborated with). Or take opener “Exacto,” a slicing web of intertwined guitar and bass. Its razor-fine notes and syncopated beats perfectly match pointillist Frobos lyrics such as “Exacto, de facto, concise, quite right”–a line that could well be an Omni mantra.
The precision and clarity of Souvenir comes from some new Omni developments. For one, this is their first album with Yonker as their full-time drummer, and his forceful playing adds exclamation points to every pointed moment on Souvenir. In addition, the trio worked with Atlanta-based engineer Kristofer Sampson for the first time. Sampson pushed the band to a higher degree of power, with Frobos’s vocals more upfront in his pulsing mix and the rest of the music leaping out of the speakers.
You might notice that Frobos’ singing is a bit more emotional and even nostalgic this time around. In crafting his vocals, he was inspired by the early college radio rock of formative favorites like REM, the Cure, and Big Audio Dynamite–the kind of bands whose melodies could have been top 40 hits in an alternative universe. The lyrics on Souvenir are also by turns funny, absurd, and even cryptic. A wry humor has always coursed through Omni’s songs, and this time, it comes in shades of both dark and light. In “Granite Kiss,” an “astronomical” love story concludes with the hope that “we can decay together,” while in “PG,” a romantic walk in the park includes a rose-colored mugging.
Immediacy rushes throughout every moment of Souvenir, making it the band's most powerful album to date. Omni has truly crafted a musical keepsake–a set of songs that you’ll want to keep close, an aural memento you'll cherish for the rest of time.
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