Picks and Pans Review: Cuba

updated 11/09/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/09/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

The Silos

If you want to break away from your boring old record collection and meet a rock band that's new—but not too weird or scary—then try Cuba, the second album by the Silos. This is pop music almost anyone can enjoy: versatile, pleasant but not tedious, lively but not ear-shattering. Cuba is so varied that it sounds like the work of several bands. Memories, a roots rock song à la Eric Clapton, builds on powerful hooks that can transform apathetic listeners into avid air guitarists. The Silos turn up the juice for Just This Mornin', a hot and messy number that sounds like the Replacements. Then the band switches to its Newport Folk Festival mode for Going Round, a folk-country love song backed by sweet violin and viola harmonies. The Silos' lyrics aren't the usual stuff of rock music. There's a song or two about marital bliss, another about a happy wedding. But because lead singer and songwriter Walter Salas-Humara has plenty of vocal grit, he never falls into Barry Manilow sentimentality even with such lyrics as "Love your parents and your sister too/ Be that selfish to believe in yourself/ Take a chance." From start to finish Cuba has a fresh sound that can win over fans of old rock, new rock and everything in between. (Independent Label Alliance/Record Collect, P.O. Box 594M, Bay Shore, New York 11706)

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