Omni – Multi-task
Building upon the strengths of their debut, Deluxe, Omni's Multi-task is much more of a grower, but over time proves itself to be a triumphant lesson in post-punk
The second album is notoriously easy to get wrong. Bands often use a slicker, more 'refined' approach to denote progression, but the results can be disappointing to fans that prefer the early, rougher recordings. Omni are the kind of band that thrives on lo-fi primitivism: their debut LP Deluxe negated the blues-rooted, formulaic progressions of trad-rock in favour of something much more playful, but its sound was rooted in the kind of post-punk that only works if it’s unembellished and fleeting.
Fortunately, Multi-task maintains Omni’s no-frills approach to recording and production, and stylistically, it’s very similar to their debut. While some might argue that rejection of change is a sign of a band unwilling to develop their sound, it’s more likely to be a bolder move than you think: knowing your strengths and adapting to a trademark is worth far more credit than changing because success allows you to.
All the hallmarks of Omni’s debut are present and correct: jaunty, stop/start arrangements, intense guitar melodies, muffled vocals and a propensity for the poppier side of post-punk. It doesn’t quite have anything as immediately appealing as Afterlife here, in fact it’s much more of a grower, but over time Multi-task proves itself to be a triumphant lesson in post-punk authenticity. Fans of Talking Heads, Pylon and Devo will be wondering if this record somehow eluded them in 1983.