Omni Credit: Emily Frobos

As Atlanta trio Omni have readied their Sub Pop debut and third LP overall, Networker, I’ve had as much fun parsing the lineage of their sparse, anxiously playful postpunk as I’ve had listening to their catalog. Longtime Reader critic Peter Margasak has compared the band’s sound to the feverish early-80s output of Scottish indie label Postcard, while Atwood Magazine has suggested that Omni’s 2018 two-song single for Chunklet Industries bears similarities to Parquet Courts. Omni’s wiriest, most cutting guitar parts occasionally remind me of the unnerving, hyperfast punk of Minneapolis’s Uranium Club, or else sound like a distant cousin of the frenetic mutant styles that have recently emerged from northwest Indiana’s hardcore scene (occasionally and perfectly described as “Devo-core”). Despite all these points of contact, though, Omni feel adrift in their own world—and despite the focused clarity of their distinctive minimalist approach, they’re always open to change. On “Underage,” which punches up a dour melody with light-footed piano, Omni make a startling midsong transition that’s anchored by a ribald guitar line—one of many moments that suggest they’re not working with a blueprint.   v