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When the Telephone Rings

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Album Review

When the Telephone Rings bursts out of the starting blocks with "The Only Love," a fiery rocker fueled by some high-octane guitar from the great Richard Lloyd, and for five minutes it sounds like Walter Salas-Humara and his latest edition of the Silos have finally made the top-shelf rock & roll record they've long had in 'em (and almost made with Laser Beam Next Door). Sad to say, the album never kicks quite that hard again, but When the Telephone Rings manages a taut emotional intensity that's both bracing and satisfying, and it still rocks with greater conviction than most anything in the band's catalog. Much of the album was cut with Salas-Humara on guitar, Drew Glackin on drums, and Konrad Meissner on drums, and together they're a tight rhythm section capable of cutting an impressive groove, with a rotating cast of friends filling out the sound. The Silos circa 2004 are a capable power trio who don't need all that much assistance to bring these songs up to speed, and when they want to ease things back a bit, they can still hit the target (as on the moody title cut). And while Salas-Humara remains a passionate realist two decades into the Silos' career, these 11 songs celebrate life in all its glories (as well its occasional indignities) as only someone who's been around the block a few times can. When the Telephone Rings is rock & roll by grown-ups for grown-ups, and the maturity and wisdom inherent in this music doesn't minimize the sweaty fun to be had. Read the lyrics and turn it up.


Formed: 1985 in New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the pioneering bands of the early alternative country scene, the Silos were the brainchild of vocalist, songwriter, and bandleader Walter Salas-Humara, who was born in Florida to parents who were exiled from Cuba. Salas-Humara began writing songs while he was a student at the University of Florida in Gainesville in the early '80s (where he played in an early version of the Vulgar Boatmen), and by 1985 he had relocated to New York City and was eager to record an album. Salas-Humara began working...
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When the Telephone Rings, The Silos
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