The Silos

When the Telephone Rings – 2004 (Dualtone)

Reviewed by Rick Teverbaugh

CDs by The Silos

It's been several years since The Silos were named Rolling Stone's Best New American Band. It's been even longer since group leader Walter Salas-Humara made a name for himself as the founder of the alternative band the Vulgar Boatmen. But this new release confirms the stability, versatility and maturity the group has achieved.

The current lineup has been intact for about five years, and the playing here confirms the self-confidence and familiarity that the consistency has brought. Salas-Humara is unafraid to take chances. That's why the band is so hard to categorize, though in the end alternative country is literally the only one that makes any sense.

Some of this material is difficult to get through on first listen, but grows with repeated inspections. Much more of it is immediately riveting for its bravado and its thrill-a-minute pacing. Only those with the ability to appreciate a broad range of styles from the same band will greatly appreciate The Silos and this new work.