Adelaide’s Somnium has recently unleashed a wrath of ‘stoner rock’ out to the world with their debut album Omnism. The trio consists of James Dawes (vocals/guitar), Jess Foenander (bass/vocals) and Jacob Otto (drums), and they’re making waves in the local music scene.

Omnism is a compilation admittedly conceived from the idea of the mind and heart being a temple to individual philosophies. The eight-song record makes a statement with this well-crafted collection of songs that ring true to the band’s elemental strengths of hard-rock, blues and psychedelia. The album as a whole contains peaks and troughs of sounds, tempos and rhythms, and wavers similarly within each song.

Riding the album’s wave, ‘Mountain Stream’ and ‘Flying Mattress’ set the overall psych feel and take a plunge midway through into the hard-rock/blues sounds in ‘Perfect Pair/Gypsy Hair’ and ‘Interlude For The Swanson Child.’

Listeners resurface with ‘Robot Terrorist Masscre,’ which is faster and upbeat, and the quirky track ‘Mystical Cookoo’ that goes down with the faint aftertaste of The Beatles’ obscure brilliance of ‘I Am the Walrus.’

The remaining songs fall graciously into a mash of sounds, yet unfortunately ends somewhat anti-climatically with ‘I Lost My Mind, Trying To Work Out Yours.’ While the song was enjoyable, the musical wave of the album would have been completed perfectly with a big sounding finishing number or something more instrumentally complex to match previous songs. Nevertheless, prior tracks make up for the ending and tantalises aurally satisfying signatures of psychedelia-come-rock.

Showing a huge amount of brilliance and control through vocal, string and percussion decisions, Omnism provides the perfect peak and dropping ratio. It covers a gradient of tones from the psychedelic-to-blues spectrum with interesting soundscapes, enchanting guitar and lazy vocal slides.

Many songs feature elements typical of ’60s flower-power with trippy distorted vocal warbles and eccentric electric guitar that hint at inspiration from the past, but project well into the present with current and refreshing musical decisions.

Rating: 9/10

Listen to Omnism here.

Catch Somnium playing at the following venues:

THURS 28 SEPT The William Bligh
Rocket Bar & Rooftop
FRI 13 OCT Exeter Hotel

Find Somnium on:


Photos: Sam Davis