Omni fans will have a broad idea of what to expect from their fourth album. It will consist of a set of musical miniatures that suggest a strand of post-punk influences shorn of retro leanings, boasting twisting and chopping guitar riffs, staccato rhythms and lean melodies that inspire a desire to throw shapes. However, within their refined palette, each album has unveiled some developments. Their first album for Sub Pop, 2019’s ‘Networker’, showcased a lusher production while ‘Souvenir’ reveals some significant tweaks. Kristofer Sampson’s production provides greater clarity and a bigger sound, bassist/vocalist Philip Frobos adds the influence of college-rock favourites like REM and Big Audio Dynamite to his vocals, while Chris Yonker on his first full-time outing on the drum stool supplies crisp, powerful rhythms.

One of the defining features of Omni’s sound is Frankie Broyles’ guitar playing and it has rarely sounded better than on the album’s opening track, ‘Exacto’, during which he channels a concise Tom Verlaine swapping riffs with Andy Gill, while the interplay with his bandmates reaches its zenith. Its lyric, “exacto, de facto, concise, quite right’ could be the manifesto for the record’s 11-tracks.

Among the surprises offered up are three tracks featuring additional vocals from Izzy Glaudini of Automatic, the first guest vocalist with whom they have collaborated. This works especially well on ‘Plastic Pyramid’. With its heavily ironic tone, beginning with Frobos asking, “are you hydrated, baby?” before launching into tales of online shopping, “the sphinx, the Nile, I ordered it all” Throw in some whooshing synths and it brings to mind the spirit of The B-52s. There is an unpredictability to her sometimes answering, sometimes harmonising vocals that give ‘Verdict’ and ‘F1’ an urgent dynamic.

‘Souvenir’ offers up numerous highlights. ‘International Waters’ introduces piano, slightly jazzy vibe while constantly swapping tempo with their signature impatience while ‘Double Negative’ recalls a mash up of Polvo’s guitar tunings and The Knack’s ‘My Sharona’. ‘PG’ takes in a romantic walk and a mugging together with especially twitchy and sharp guitars, ending with bits of electronics to mirror lyrics about being down in the mud. Shard-like guitar and scampering basslines mark out ‘Granite’, an astronomical love affair with the hope “we can decay together”.

‘To Be Rude’ utilises a choppy riff reminiscent of The Jam’s ‘Start’ and therefore also the George Harrison composed, fiscally conservative and grumpy Beatles tune, ‘Taxman’, before piling on a range of guitar diversions that are a rare moment that fails to gel. ‘Souvenir’ closes with the, by their standards, epic near 4-minute, ‘Compliment’, all curves, shimmies and shifting tempos.

After an inspiring 30-minute gallop, the advice would be to get yourself a ‘Souvenir’ and one for a special friend as an Omni present.

Omni: Souvenir – Out 16th February 2024 (Sub Pop)

– Plastic Pyramid (feat. Izzy Glaudini) (Official Video) (

I was editor of the long-running fanzine, Plane Truth, and have subsequently written for a number of publications. While the zine was known for championing the most angular independent sounds, performing in recent years with a community samba percussion band helped to broaden my tastes so that in 2021 I am far more likely to be celebrating an eclectic mix of sounds and enthusing about Made Kuti, Anthony Joseph, Little Simz and the Soul Jazz Cuban compilations as well as Pom Poko and Richard Dawson.