It amuses me to think that when I saw The Safes at Cafe Nine back in '07 they already had three CDs out, and now here it is seven years later and they're still pumping out solid albums, the latest being "Record Heat", which officially came out a couple of weeks ago I think (yup, "released April 29 2014" -- thanks, Google). Not "amuses me" in the sense that I think it's funny, since there's no one left around here anymore with a sense of humor, although me continuing to post on a blog that hasn't had a visitor in 8 months almost counts for one. More like amusing in the sense that The Safes continue to churn out hand-made Raspberries/Kinks-minded guitar pop, damn-the-torpedoes style, to an indie scene that's grown increasingly indifferent to rock compared to a generation or two earlier, when The Safes would've been as big as Green, as least. One of The Safes' strong suits has always been that they know how to pull the plug on an idea once the point's been made, so the ten songs here clock in at 25 minutes, but even with that they managed to throw in some twists along the way; Kathleen Wilson of Thee Lexington Arrows sings the lead vocal on one track, and it looks like Dad even pitched in with some sax. "Hopes Up, Guard Down" is definitely the 'hit' of the bunch, with a couple of punchy hooks including the transcendent "diamond in the ground" bridge, reminding me of Big Dipper's "Loch Ness Monster" in that sense. The full album is up on their Bandcamp, too, which you can check out here.
"Hopes Up, Guard Down"