Call ‘em “garage-kissed power pop” (San Francisco Chronicle), “atomic pop” (Rolling Stone), or simply “wild and crazy” (Chicago Tribune), The Safes have collected plenty of accolades for however you’d like to sum up their expert-level snappy songwriting and sharp showmanship. Brothers O'Malley with drummer Dex Fontaine plus bassists Curt Schmelz and David Elliott are The Safes. The band’s “smart, melodic music” ( NPR) is rooted in ‘60s-70s inspirations – artists who knew how to deliver big on record and on stage. Contemporary comparisons such as Ty Segal, Thee Oh Sees, Guided by Voices, The Minus 5, Sloan, and New Pornographers make a whole lot of sense, too.
When it has come to getting that sound on tape, the brothers have recorded themselves at their own StudiO'Malley and have also worked with some top record producers like Steve Albini (The Breeders, Cheap Trick, Joanna Newsom), Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, The Shins, Iron & Wine), Keith Cleversley in Chicago at The Playground (Flaming Lips), Jim Diamond in Detroit at Ghetto Recorders (White Stripes), Jason Ward in Benton Harbor at Key Club Recording & Prole Arts in Chicago (Arcade Fire, Kid Congo Powers), and David Suycott (Spies Who Surf, Machines of Loving Grace) in Chicago at IDIGMusic.
Touring the USA coast-to-coast since 2003 along with touring Japan & Spain in 2018, The Safes have established large, loyal fanbases on the strength of their live show which is a sweaty explosion of energy and melody. The Safes have also shared the stage/floors with such acts as wild america, The Growlers, Autumn Defense, Detroit Cobras, Foghat, The Toasters, Hunx and his Punx, Andrew Bird, The Zoltars, Smoking Popes, Greenhornes, The Vibrators, Shannon and the Clams, Spinto Band... to name a few.
The boys have been very fortunate to have worked with such talented & generous friends such as: director/filmography/editors Andrew Maggio & pupeteer Rachel Frizzi for The SAFES "The Sky is Falling" puppet massacre (premiere on Pitchfork TV) and Well, Well, Well's cold killer "Since Trust Went Bust"(premiere on Daily Motion); to Nika Thiel's masktacular "Deception"; Mike Hindert's chicken caper for "Hopes Up, Guard Down" (premiere on CMJ) and the weeper rabbit peeper "She So Sad, and most recently a uniquely global video directed by Mickey Mangan for The Safes "I Would Love To”, that was filmed by Safes fans in 15 countries and represents 12 languages (premiere on Yahoo! Music), Patrick Oleksy's animated and multi-layered suburban dreamland drama for "Hometown" (Stereogum), and Baby Pony Food's Kafkaesque game show for Winning Combination's "It's True" (The 405).
The Safes releases have also led to live performances on WGN tv, Fox Chicago tv, a feature episode on JbTv and airplay on college and community radio stations across the US such as WFMU, WXPN, WLUW, KHDX, WMBR, KEXP among hundreds of others along with WXRT, KROQ, WFNX, and WLUP.
LICENSING PLACEMENTS with:
"blast of good old fashioned rock’n’roll fun"
-Peter Helman, Stereogum
“A spitfire band of Irish brothers who are Chicago’s answer to The Kinks. They have mastered the ground between garage rock snarl and explosive power pop
with a handful of nationally acclaimed records and a raucous, buzzed about live show. It’s a big, thrilling sound built to bore into your head, and stick there. ”
-Chris March, New Haven Register
"Chicago's The Safes are out to conquer America the old-fashioned way — one city at a time. This trio of brothers channels the raw energy of '60s-style soul through modern power-pop song structures,
with tunes built on fiery riffs and fierce hooks. The Safes' sweat-inducing live shows earn rave reviews, but their efforts in the studio are also inspiring."
-Brian Lee, Hartford Courant
"Chicago power-pop band-- centered around a trio of multi-instrumentalist brothers-- craft well-executed songs.”
-Nate Patrin, Pitchfork
"The Safes rise to the occasion and give it everything they've got!"-- Richard Milne, 93.1, WXRT
"'Well, Well, Well' marks a move away from The SAFES' grittier beginnings and toward the more melodic pop sensibility
favored by the likes of Fountains of Wayne and The Raconteurs' Brendan Benson"
-Jonathan Perry, Boston Globe