Jump to Content

Welcome! You’re browsing the No Depression Archives

No Depression has been the foremost journalistic authority on roots music for well over a decade, publishing 75 issues from 1995 to 2008. No Depression ceased publishing magazines in 2008 and took to the web. We have made the contents of those issues accessible online via this extensive archive and also feature a robust community website with blogs, photos, videos, music, news, discussion and more.

Close This

Waxed - Record Review from Issue #53 Sept-Oct 2004


When the Telephone Rings (Dualtone)

The Silos’ latest excursion of musical wanderlust travels the road not taken. Since the band’s critical breakthrough with 1987′s Cuba, frontman Walter Salas-Humara and an ever-shifting lineup have pursued a number of directions, detours and tangents: from punk rock to art rock, from ambient textures to power trio. With Salas-Humara’s elliptical material and laconic vocals, every release has been recognizably the Silos, but each has been something of a surprise as well.

On When The Telephone Rings, the surprise is that the album could pass as a natural follow-up to Cuba, a companion piece oblivious to all those side trips and the passage of time. From the organic, homespun songcraft of “Whistled A Slow Waltz” and “Holding On To Life” (reprised as a bonus cut with a children’s chorus) to the soaring, swirling violin of Mary Rowell on “The First Move”, the collection serves as a renewal, a reminder of those elements that made the Silos sound so fresh and established the band as a seminal influence on the indie alt-country to come. Vocal support from Amy Allison and Mary Lee Kortes enhances the arrangements, while Television’s Richard Lloyd provides guest guitar on “15 Days”.

Though there’s a timeless quality to the sound, the songs are very much of the moment, offering a spirit of hope in troubled times. The title cut never mentions September 11, but its mood of bittersweet mourning captures the lingering aftermath perfectly. Both the rockin’ revolution heralded by the album-opening “The Only Love” (with its tautological hook, “Only love can be the only love”) and the propulsive immediacy of “Innocent” provide a post-millennial affirmation that engages the world but refuses to be defeated by it.

When The Telephone Rings sounds like an album Salas-Humara could have made at any time, but needed to make right now.

Enjoy the ND archives? Consider making a donation with PayPal or send a check to:
No Depression, 460 Bush St., San Francisco, CA 94108


Did you enjoy this article? Start a discussion about it, or find out what others are saying in the No Depression Community forum.

Join the Discussion »

Find out what's going on in roots music. Share concert photos and videos, learn about new artists, blog about the music you love.

Join the No Depression Community »

Originally Featured in Issue #53 Sept-Oct 2004

Buy our history before it’s gone!

Each issue is artfully designed and packed full of great photos that you don‘t get online. Visit the No Depression store to own a piece of history.

Visit the No Depression Store »

From the Blogs

  • Dylan, "Desire" and the (other) Story of Hurricane: A Lesson In Fatherhood
    Reading of the death of former pro boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter today awoke an old memory which reminded me how lucky I was to have, what in retrospect, was a pretty cool father.  I should add by "cool" I do not mean some kind of "over the hill hipster" who, in a desperate attempt at trying to stay relevant smokes pot or acts […]
  • Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes – Black Coffee (Album Review)
    After a successful solo outing, Aussie country singer Lachlan Bryan got his old band back into the studio and came up with this cracker of an album. It was released in the autumn of last year in Australia and subsequently picked up a major award as “Alternative Country” album of the year. Such acclaim means any belated praise from me is superfluous, but I’m […]
  • Album Reviews: Gord Downie & The Sadies, Bruce Springsteen, Lost & Nameless, The Annie Ford Band
    Gord Downie, The Sadies, and the Conquering Sun The lead singer of one of Canada’s most influential rock bands gets together with one of the best live bands ever for a collaborative effort and the expected results could range anywhere from confusion to straight ahead awesomeness. Thankfully (and not surprisingly, given the players involved) the semi-eponymou […]
  • Blackberry Smoke Is the Goddamn Truth
    Southern rock is a stylistic hodgepodge--a musical mutt.  Yet in this gumbo pot of a country, its impurities and cross-breeding make it the most American genre of all. And with the Allman Brothers drawing down, southern rock's current standard bearer is Blackberry Smoke, a lofty perch they hardly jeopardized during a lively set last night at Seattle […]
  • Goldie and the Gingerbreads: The First All-Female Guitar Band
    It could only happen in America: In 1947, a 7-year-old Polish-Jewish girl named Genyusha "Genya" Zelkovicz arrived in New York City's Lower East Side with her parents and a sister, speaking not a word of English. They were the only ones in their family to survive the Holocaust. Genya's mother nicknamed her Goldie, and thus began her Ameri […]
  • Wayne Kramer - Lexington (Album Review)
    Wayne Kramer is someone who's life story I'd very much like to read. From lead guitar in the Mighty MC5 to prison inmate to social activist (he recently interviewed Pussy Riot, and is constantly active in speaking out against such injustices) to new father, Kramer's life has an interesting story in every chapter. His latest record release (and […]

Shop Amazon by clicking through this logo to support NoDepression.com. We get a percentage of every purchase you make!

Subscribe To the No Depression Newsletter

Subscribe to the No Depression Newsletter