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TonyDoug's CD Reviews: Anthemic Pop Wonder, The Safes

by tonydoug wright

Anthemic Pop Wonder, Supersonic Lullabies (self-released, 2004)

THE BAND: Dfactor (Instruments and Vocals)

THE HISTORY: Anthemic Pop Wonder (APW) historians traced the band's beginnings back to 1997 when Dfactor plugged in his guitar at a Guided by Voices listening party in Dayton, OH. Witnesses claim that CCR and The Modern Lovers were covered at that silly gathering of indie rock fans and lo-fi rockers. Since then, APW has moved to New York City and released seven CDs.

THE REVIEW: I've been familiar with APW's work since the release of Cool Cocktails in 1997. Dfactor understands the basics on garage rock and power pop which makes Supersonic Lullabies another APW victory. Rockers recording in their basements everywhere shall do Robert Pollard style kicks to tracks such as 'Hands' and 'Fortune Reigns'. A personal favorite for me is that the album opens with a little 'Hitchin' A Ride' cover teaser in 'Ridin' A Hitch'.


The Safes, Family Jewels (O'Brothers Records, 2003)

THE BAND: Frankie O'Malley (Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Sitar and Organ), Michael O'Malley (Bass and Vocals), Patrick O'Malley (Guitar, Vocals and Piano) and Sean O'Malley (Drums and Percussion).

THE HISTORY: The O'Malley brothers came together as The Safes in January 2003. Family Jewels is the debut CD from this Chicago-based band.

THE REVIEW: When one discusses family bands that rock a few names pop into our minds: The Kinks, AC/DC, Van Halen and The Brady Kids. In all seriousness, I must admit that Family Jewels is one damn good CD. The Safes remind me of the Soft Boys (lead singer Frankie O'Malley even sounds like Robyn Hitchcock) and a few late 70s power-punk-pop bands. "Not To Keep", "Do You Apply", "Memory Lane" and "Sing Along" are four fantastic songs from an excellent debut. Hopefully we will hear more from Chicago's very own O'Malley's.


Issue 21, March 2004

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