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The Safes

Sight of All Light

(O'Brothers; US: 23 Sep 2008; UK: Available as import)

If there’s one rule that governs punky power pop, it’s this: don’t think too much. Just bang out some power chords, toss in a catchy chorus, put it all on tape, and call it day. It worked for Cheap Trick in 1977 and it’s held up ever since. Still, in this day and age of ProTools and Chinese Democracy the temptation to overtinker and reinvent the wheel is as strong as ever. Thank goodness, then, for Chicago’s the Safes, who, with The Sight of All Light show what can be accomplished when nothing matters except rocking out.
 
Sight of All Light—all five tracks and 11 minutes of it—takes what the band (brothers Frankie, Michael and Patrick O’Malley) built on their sorta-breakthrough, 2006’s Well Well Well and, simply put, scuzzes it all up. Fuzz replaces its predecessor’s jangle, and, mercifully, it’s done without losing any hooks. The Safes have clearly boned up on the Class of ‘77, with obvious nods to Cheap Trick, the Clash (dig the ringing guitars on “Greed”) and every other British band that released an album that year (“Troublemaker”). There’s a refreshing lack of pretension here, though that may be because there isn’t enough time to put on airs. Here’s what you do: Spin Sight of All Light twice, follow it up with a few other bands who share the same ethos—Gentleman Jesse and His Men, Cheap Time—grab a beer, and take heart that 2008 isn’t so far removed from 1977 after all.

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The Safes - The Sky Is Falling
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By PopMatters Staff
22 Apr 2014
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.
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.
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