On Friday, August 29th, Omni returned from their big tour across North America, to finally celebrate the release of their debut album, Deluxe, with their hometown of Atlanta at The EARL with support from local favorites, Dicaprio, Meat, and Illegal Drugs.
My night kicked off with Meat, the side project of multi-instrumentalist Doug Bleichner, also known as the drummer for Warehouse; who alongside Omni, make up two of the most nationally buzzed about, young indie bands coming out of Atlanta.
Meat proved to be a perfect compliment to Omni, showing off a 4 piece band that provided their own brand of rhythmic rock ‘n’ roll full of pop hooks. Seeing Doug’s bedroom project come alive with a full band provided an updated sound from the 4 Meat releases on Bandcamp and via Skeleton Realm Records. While Bleichner’s songs have a slight sunny disposition to them, the understated pop showed live with a slight piece of post punk edge mixed in, which makes going back and listening to the lofi EPs all that more interesting. Whether live or recorded, it’s clear that Bleichner’s solo work deserves it’s own buzz; Meat is a band that any underground music fan should be latching onto.
Despite this show being the album release party for Omni in Atlanta, Illegal Drugs held nothing back, threatening to steal the night from the guests of honor. The Atlanta-based four piece band includes members of Turf War, Hawks, and the Husseins, releasing one EP in 2015, On Fire (which seems to be no longer found on the internets). There does appear to be new music on the horizon for Illegal Drugs, hopefully before the end of this year.
Illegal Drugs combines punk, goth, and grunge into their garage rock ‘n’ roll sound. Live, the band has an unmatched energy on stage that kicked The EARL into a different gear from the previous set. Illegal Drugs awoke parts of the crowd that were prepared for any mosh pit, ready to throw their fists in the air and bang their heads. The band could power through two minute songs with a ferocity, or extend into post punk jams that never let the audience take a breath. Illegal Drugs is definitely a band to look out for, and if you are needing a rock ‘n’ roll set to let out some steam, this is a live set not to be missed.
Omni (formerly known as Landline) is the latest Atlanta band to garner a ton of buzz behind their just released debut album, Deluxe, released July 8th via Chicago based Trouble In Mind Records, and for good reason. The three piece band, which includes guitarist Frankie Broyles (ex-Deerhunter, Balkans), bassist/vocalist Philip Frobos (ex-Carnivores) and drummer Billy Mitchell (ex-Carnivores), have had all of the major indie publications writing about the band, with the focus always seemingly on comparisons to past bands. Omni has been compared to bands such as Joy Division, Television, and Pylon, with particular comparisons liking the band to post punk’s origins of 1978-81.
Sure all of those comparisons have plenty of merit, but what most sites aren’t concentrating on when talking about Omni is the now. In a day and age when anyone with a computer can create music, Omni are purists. And much like some of those bands previously mentioned, the three piece is able to create a rock ‘n’ roll sound without the use of an Apple product, that still sounds futuristic, like nothing else today, but what our future selves are aiming for.
The audience at The EARL packed in around the stage for Omni’s set, already full of the energy that Illegal Drugs provided. Omni though flipped the script from their predecessors, with a more subtle energy on stage. The songs came alive, and got the crowd moving, with particular highlights coming on songs such as “Afterlife”, “Wednesday Wedding”, “Wire”, “Earrings” and “Jungle Jenny”. Philip Frobos’ lyrics are provoking, yet whimsical, and able to keep the mood light. The many hooks and rhythmic pace, mixed in with frantic twists always keeps the audience on their toes. It’s hard not to want to let loose and groove to Omni, and that’s exactly what we did at The EARL as the band powered through their set. The only thing lacking about Omni’s set? With most songs checking in around or under 3 minutes, and the band mostly playing straight through with minimal banter between songs, the set felt way too short, leaving us all only wanting more.
Luckily Atlanta will get more from Omni next month at Project Pabst in East Atlanta Village on October 1st with Run The Jewels, Mastodon, Santigold, Charles Bradley, Real Estate and more.
Check out additional photos by Mike Gerry: