Silos Laser Beam Next Door

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, but without the virtuosity of David Hidalgo. Nothing groundbreaking, but 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. As someone who was probably too young to fully appreciate their earlier work, after hearing Laser Beam Next Door I'm wishing they had made this album back then. (Checkered Past)