If Atlanta's Omni were a machine with a rhythm switch, it would probably just have one setting: staccato. Nearly all of the trio's songs are built around twitchy, start-stop beats that instantly get pulses rushing and nerves tingling.
On the band's second album, "Multi-task," due in September on Chicago's Trouble in Mind, guitarist Frankie Broyles (formerly of Deerhunter) and singer and bassist Philip Frobos give almost every one of their musical moves — be it a sharp guitar chord, a pointy bass pluck or a bulleted snare hit — its own rhythmic exclamation point.
As a result, Omni's music can sound both stressful and joyous. As with a lot of post-punk, you can dance and brood to the band's tunes at the same time. Multi-task leans more toward the body-moving side of Omni's sound, though, especially on songs like "Equestrian." Its spry, stair-climbing melody comes off like a jittery call to arms, with bass and guitar bouncing and aligning like magnets. The addition of a rising synth gives the tune a triumphant tone, not far from Devo's most anthemic moments.
As to what exactly Omni is celebrating, it's hard to say. Judging by its lyrical details, "Equestrian" is about a rather mundane hotel stay, as Frobos sings about checking into the wrong room, meeting friends in the lobby and declining the mint on a pillow. The tune's joy seems to be derived from the thrill of splurging — "You can't afford it / You know you're worth it" — but whatever point Omni is trying to make, its music makes sure your mind and body get a quick, sweat-inducing workout.
"Multi-task" comes out Sept. 22 via Trouble In Mind.