The Silos

Though it was brief, The Silos had their indie rock flavor du jour moment. Now, their second record, Cuba, one of the quieter, semi-unknown masterpieces of what was then just starting to be called alternative rock (and so be doomed by imitators), has been re-released on white vinyl by Nashville’s Dualtone label who also reissued it on CD in 2002. This was once a fairly pricey item on the collectors market. Despite a slight edge warp in my copy and the fact that it was likely pressed at URP which can be problematic, this new LP is an improvement over any digital or ahem!, cassette version, I’ve previously heard, though my old beat Record Collect LP from 1987 still sounds pretty warm and crackly. Based around the tunes of Walter Salsa-Humara, a Floridian of Cuban descent, who moved to NYC after being in an early version of the Vulgar Boatmen, The Silos got fairly boring, fairly quickly. Salas-Humara’s tendency towards long, slow tunes and overly precious lyrics finally did the band in. Yet here those tendencies are embryonic (though audible) and muted in favor of tunes like the gently rockin’ “Tennessee Fire,” one of the signature touchstones of the alt-country genre, another folk rocker, “All Falls Away” and “Mary’s Getting Married,” where the violin of band member Mary Rowell is a sweet addition. A better legendary record than any monument to musicianship or songwriting, Cuba’s the influential sound of a band feeling it’s way, trying to find it’s particular vision inside a then very new strain of guitar band music.

findog3103's picture

This is truly one of my favorite records of all time. I discovered it while a radio DJ at Widener University in the 80s and used to listen to it on an old cassette on long road trips. I saw them once or twice back then. On the cd the last song always skipped, on any cd I listened to. I had an old vinyl version and recently found one at Princeton Record Exchange for like 5 bucks. It's one of the records that any time I see it, I buy it.

woodford's picture

it's available on Tidal.