Atlanta band Omni are playing a risky game of ransacking the past for the cool bits in order to make modern music. In other hands, this would be a recipe for disaster. However, here, in the hands of these young musicians, things seem fresh and vibrant and the result is the fine album Deluxe, out now via Trouble in Mind Records.
On opener "Afterlife" Omni present the same sort of bristly post-punk that Field Music frequently offer up. Still, the big difference here is that whereas those Brits looked to early XTC for inspiration, Omni seem to be looking instead to Television and early Talking Heads for theirs. The jerky "Wire" serves up a whole bunch of No Wave styles in a very compact package. On the more melodic "Earrings" Omni's craft seems to fall in line with the sort of thing that current acts like EZTV are currently perfecting. Still, despite the fact that there are similarities, Omni insist making things a bit more abrasive and jarring. "Jungle Jenny" and "Eyes On The Floor" seem to be more angst-y takes on what David Byrne crafted with his band-mates in the formative years of the Talking Heads, the rhythmic bits replaced here with guitar hooks. There is a certain lyricism in something like "Plane" and the song had some real resonance for me with the line that goes "...blow it off for that job in Hong Kong", or at least I think that's what it was. Having quit a job here to move to Hong Kong to start a new life (only to move back after 3 years to start a new one here with my new wife), that piece of the cut certainly made me even more of a fan of this fine new band.
Deluxe by Omni, out now on Trouble in Mind Records, is a superb package of sometimes jangle-y, sometimes angular post-punk. Remarkably concise, this collection of tunes showcases what could very well be one of the best new bands in America. Presented with a great degree of confidence, Omni's songs are all little bursts of cleverness that update familiar models of what predated New Wave in this country.
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