Safes | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

In 2003 I sang the praises of the three O'Malley brothers and their intense, engaging style of garage-ish rock, which blends power-pop hookiness with a rockabilly fierceness. It's been nice to see the love spread since then: on the strength of their debut, Family Jewels (Failed Experiment), and a follow-up 2004 EP, Boogie Woogie Rumble (Pro-Vel), the Safes have played on bills with Question Mark & the Mysterians, the Black Keys, the Fleshtones, the Detroit Cobras, and on and on. The three tracks from their upcoming second full-length that they sent me have a tightness that reminds me of Cheap Trick, with a trim, post-Buzzcocks sense of how to make hooks hurt--the riff of "Since Trust Went Bust" moves with a grim determination, as if it were marching through the Loop's skyscraper canyons during a windstorm. Piston Hurricane and Days Off open. Fri 12/30, 7 PM, Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 773-281-4444, $7. All ages.

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