Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

 

The Safes - 'Record Heat' (album stream) (Premiere)

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Chicago's the Safes smoke on their new record of classic power pop rockers with a bit of punk sneer and AM radio melodic harmonies.

The three brothers—Frankie, Patrick, and Michael O’Malley—grew up in a musical home full of classic albums and instruments belonging to their musician/collector father. The O’Malleys learned and played together all through their youth, which explains why the Safes are so tight and right on the money with every note and rhythm. Next week sees the release of the Safes’ latest slab of rock ‘n’ roll. Spring is finally here… time to rock.
  




Frankie O’Malley tells us all about Record Heat in an exclusive track-by-track: “To me the title, Record Heat, says it all!  A real summertime extra sensory power pop, rock ‘n’ roll explosion for blasting at the beach, cranking it up in the car and taking a ride, and blaring it at your Saturday night dance party. Then when you listen alone, dig on that songwriting and production my brother does. There’s way more going on than you’ll get in one listen.”


TRACK BY TRACK


1. “Hopes Up, Guard Down”
I remember the first time Patrick played “Hopes Up, Guard Down” for me, just guitar and vocals. My immediate reaction, “This is track #1 on our next LP!” Enough said.


2. “I Would Love To”
When I wrote “I Would Love To”, I was in the pits of despair; you’d never know by listening to it. But this song was not originally the anthem for Living Life it became. Oh yeah!  Thank you for being here for me!


3. “K.O.”
Patrick’s songwriting and production always knocks me out of the park. If you can figure out the song structure on this one, please tell me because I’m still trying to learn how to play it. That said it’s probably my second favorite song on Record Heat! “Hopes Up” being #1 of course!


4. “The Wide Open Sky”
Hey baby we’re flying! OH NO! What? WAIT! NO! OK, GOOOO! Nah nah nah nah! YEAH! Phew, we pulled out of that tailspin! Relationships? What’s wrong with us humans?


5. “Birthday Cake”
The main guitar riff on “Birthday Cake” was actually written for a fictional cartoon band I had with a friend until I played it for Patrick and he told me “No, that one is for the Safes.” Good thing too, because this jam would have never seen the light of day otherwise. Do dig thy tune won’t thee?


6. “Know It All”
Time to let off some pressure, Time to let off some steam, All your notebooks get thrown away, let’s go to Dairy Queen! Sugar in your coffee really taste just right, Feeling the effects for a hundred thousand nights!


7. “I Win”
You know that one person that made your life hell?  What do you have to say now? Huh? Yeah, nothing! I WIN!


8. “Ace For a Face”
This song pretty much embodies the entire Record Heat vibe in one song. Live life and have fun dancing to the rock ‘n’ roll! And nice glockenspiel work by Austin!


9. “Hot Pursuit”
Oh the empty scene has left you alone in your clone clothes? Wake up! A hairstyle is not a lifestyle. Don’t follow the chameleon cool golden rule. Just be yourself!


10. “Undone”
Look out! She’s going full throttle tonight! Man, why do I love trouble? Is it fun? Not when it needs to be undone!


Photo: Andrew Ballantyne

Photo: Andrew Ballantyne


TOUR DATES
April 28 - Cleveland, OH - Now That’s Class
April 29 - Pittsburgh, PA - Brillobox
April 30 - State College, PA - Chronic Town
May 1 - Philadelphia, PA - Ortlieb’s
May 2 - Brooklyn, NY - Don Pedro’s
May 3 - NYC, NY - Pianos
May 4 -  Boston, MA - TT’s The Bear
May 5 - Providence, RI - The Dusk
May 6 - LIVE on WFMU/3 Chord Monte (daytime)
May 6 - Asbury Park, NJ - Asbury Park Yacht Club
May 7 - Baltimore, MD - Sidebar
May 8 - Arlington, VA - Iota
May 9 - Carrboro, NC - The Station
May 10 - Atlanta, GA - Star Bar
May 11 - New Orleans, LA - Circle Bar
May 12 - Houston, TX - Jet Lounge
May 13 - Austin, TX - Trailer Space
May 14 - Denton, TX - JJ’s
May 15 - Albuquerque, NM - Katen’s House
May 16 - Scottsdale, AZ - The Rogue
May 17 - Los Angeles, CA - Molly Malone’s
May 18 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern
May 19 - Costa Mesa, CA - LIVE stream/performance on Roadtrip Nation/PBS (daytime)
May 19 - Las Vegas, NV - Beauty Bar
May 20 -  Salt Lake City, UT - Bar Deluxe
May 21 - Fort Collins, CO - Surfside Seven
May 22 - Denver, CO - Lion’s Lair
May 23 - Wichita, KS - Barleycorn’s
May 24 - Kansas City, Mo - The Brick
May 25 - St. Louis, MO - Demos
May 26 - Springfield, IL - Tin Can
May 27 - Chicago, IL - LIVE on Chicago Public Radio/Vocalo
May 28 - Indianapolis, IN - Birdy’s
May 29 - Milwaukee, WI - Frank’s Power Plant
May 30 - Chicago, IL - LIVE on WGN Midday News (daytime) and interview on WLUW’s Razor & Di
May 30 - Madison. WI - Mickey’s
May 31 - Chicago, IL - Martyrs’

Related Articles
25 Aug 2014
Chicago garage-pop siblings deliver the goods, but will leave you hungry for more
14 Dec 2008
The odds are good that three brothers will rock you over five songs and 11 minutes.
15 Apr 2007
Surely this band of brothers will kill each other before they can improve upon the crunchy power pop they display on their second full-length, Well, Well, Well.
4 Apr 2007
The O'Malley brothers, out of Chicago, crank out bad boy riffs and good time tunes. They've got one foot in garage, the other in sweetly addictive power pop.
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.