Is it ideologically correct to channel both Neil Young and his arch southern foes Lynyrd Skynyrd on the same album? The Silos, who have in their rejuvenated post-alt-country mode evinced the ragged power of Crazy Horse, provide an immediate answer on their new album by opening with a humping rocker straight out of classic Skynyrd and “Don’t Ask Me No Questions”.
“I used to ask a lot of questions, but that’s all behind me now,” sings leader (and native Floridian) Walter Salas-Humara, in the guise of a man facing execution — a rare statement of acceptance for a guy who more typically wrestles with questions about being, essence and romance. “What’s going on behind the scenes/Where are we gonna go to find the meaning,” he asks elsewhere. And: “I won/You won/How long is long enough?” And: “Can you imagine a life/Without the one you love?”
Far from being a strike against their originality, the Silos’ debt to other bands — which is far exceeded by other roots bands’ debt to the Silos — is a reflection of Salas-Humara’s bountiful vision. All these years after Cuba, the great 1987 album that helped define alt-country, that vision continues to expand.
Though stripped down to a trio (with Drew Glackin on guitar and bass and Konrad Meissner on drums), the Silos boast greater sonic weight and urgency than ever. Salas-Humara may dabble in quirky visions and surrealism (“a remote control that works from anywhere…will find you soon”), but it’s those crunching power chords, cutting solos and ascending melodies that keep you coming back for more.