Yeah, it’s nice and all but how long can it possibly last? 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. The landscape of siblings in rock is littered with combatants and casualties, from the Davies brothers to Oasis. Maybe the fact that there are three O’Malleys in this Chicago combo will be what saves them—there’s always someone to play the peacemaker. The Safes borrow more from the Kinks than simply the brother bit. This is crunchy power pop so fresh from the garage it still has oil on its shoes. And the Safes do it admirably, if a little, well, safe: “So you want to go out tonight, go out tonight, what’s new?” You’ve heard these riffs before, but the Safes make you want to do so again. Things get a little more creative at the end of the record, with the addition of pianos and horns and acoustic guitars on “Cool Sounds are Here Again” and the closer, “Bliss this Instance.” Hopefully the O’Malley brothers can keep it together long enough to explore more like this.
// Notes from the Road
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