Checkered Past Records

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During two years of extensive touring The Silos created the songs from Laser Beam Next Door. Road testing them with audiences, editing and rewriting, the band reduced them to their essence and eschewed all but the core emotional sequences. The band distilled itself to a trio with each member expanding his own repertoire of musical talents while restricting himself to using these talents in service of the lean, mean musical machine The Silos have become. Laser Beam is a "HUGELY ROCKING" album that still maintains The Silos penchant for deep grooves and melodies you find yourself humming throughout the day. Now, as an exclusive offer on, Laser Beam Next Door is available on CD. Each CD has been signed by Walter Salas-Humara.

Produced by Walter Salas-Humara. Mixed by Dave McNair at Cowboy Technical Services and Nebulous. Mastered by Jim Wilson at Yes Mastering. Recorded at Dubway, Nebulous, Albert Hall, Hideaway and Big Sky

Musicians: Walter Salas-Humara, Drew Glackin and Konrad Meissner with Arthur Luckower, Marc Benning, Shawn Barton and Anne Tache

Cover Art and Design: Ted Jenkins

The Silos, now stripped down to a trio in the last couple of years, with bassist Drew Glackin and drummer Konrad Meissner supporting Salas-Humara—have had a critically acclaimed, if commercially spotty career, delivering music informed by the influences of classic Stones-style rock, Velvets/R.E.M. folk, and Austin country. Throw in the folk rock and power pop inspirations of The Byrds and Big Star and the picture is almost complete. I say almost because, as the latest Silos effort will testify, despite Salas-Humara’s obvious debt to folk and roots music, there is much more going on in his approach to modern music making. What about "Satisfied", an obvious wink to the Rolling Stones circa Sticky Fingers? Or the easy ska rhythmic "Drunken Moon", which demonstrates the Silos’ eclectic advantage? Or the Tex-Mex inflections of "Sangre Y Lagrimas", to name but three examples. Elsewhere, the lusty rocking "Where Ya Been," the atonal chord structural "I Believe," the rustic funky "The Title of This Song," the garage riffing "Four on the Floor," the bluesy "One World," and hard rock veneer of "Wookey Do" suggest that the Silos are cut from the same roots-inflected rock that inform the sublime work of other like-minded bands like Cracker. Tightly focused and fiercely confident in their own abilities, The Silos prove with Laser Beam Next Door that despite Salas-Humara’s reservations, there is no shame in The Silos flying that roots rock flag for all to recognize and revere.

One of the alt-country pioneers of the '80s, not much has been heard from them in these parts since their only major label release, 1990's The Silos, and the defection of co-front-man Bob Rupe to Cracker. However, guitarist/vocalist Walter Salas-Humara has persevered and this latest album is a lot more cohesive and driving than I ever remember the Silos being. The incorporation of Spanish themes in Salas-Humara's writing is still evident, but not as pronounced as before. Laser Beam Next Door finds the Silos as a stripped-down, tight trio, still a little reminiscent of Los Lobos. The contrast between "Sangre Y Lagrimas" and "Where Ya Been" illustrates the album’s strengths: time-tested folk-rock mixed with solid, flat-out rockers.
— Jason Schneider,