Picks and Pans Review: The Silos
The difference between the Silos and other folk-rock bands is like the difference between fresh cream and powdered milk. Yes, there are imperfections in the Silos' sound, but there's also a richness that surpasses their watered-down competitors. With simple, honest, unpretentious lyrics, the Silos tap into private emotions without resorting to clichés. The band's two main members, Walter Silas-Humara and Bob Rupe, assisted by a shifting array of backup musicians, display a rare appreciation of humankind, often paying homage to friends and family in their work without resorting to sappiness.
A few of the songs on the new album, including the love ode "Picture of Helen," maintain the same quality as those on the Silos' earlier release, Cuba. At other times Rupe and Silas-Humara sound lethargic, sticking cautiously to familiar territory. Part of Cuba's charm came from an occasional guest appearance by a country fiddle soloist or a female vocalist. With less spice on the new album, the Silos might not surpass their own high standards, so they'll just have to settle for sounding better than a whole lot of other bands. (RCA)