Silo Halo are band from Washington D.C who are described as a “noise pop collective”. Silo Halo played their first show in 2010 under the name The Night and The City. In 2011, they changed their name. Their E.P is entitled Blackout Transmission and is a mini concept album of sorts, an album that exudes a dreamlike ambience I will analyse here. The line-up on this E.P consists of Christopher Goett on bass, guitar and vocals, Greg Svitil on bass, guitar, vocals, organ and piano and Nathan Jurgenson on drums. Bass player Alejandro Castãno is a current member of Silo Halo who will feature on a new release in the 2015. The E.P consists of four tracks.
The E.P opens with title track Blackout Transmission, a blistering experimental noise rock song that could give Sonic Youth a run for their money, the vocals in fact make me picture and hear Thurston Moore against my own will; definitely a compliment to the band. Fuzzy guitars saw through the melody as hypnotic vocals are chanted at us. The lyrics are brooding and mood and the hook is definitely there. The primal drum beat guides the guitars along creating a mind blowing wall of sound. The song is unadulterated punk rock in it’s execution and takes no prisoners. Blackout Transmission is a hark back to the days when alternative rock had attitude, rage and style.
Rosalind takes the E.P into another direction after the first track. Rosalind is a romantic alternative rock song. A delicate guitar riff is guided by an organ. The chorus climaxes against a wall of guitar distortion which gives the track an epic romantic quality. The vocals are delivered in a truly forlorn quality and under the layers we can hear the sound of a melancholic piano. Rosalind is a beautiful ethereal noise rock track. The track manages to retain it’s passionate romanticism while retaining the attitude I witnessed in the initial track at the choruses climax. The last few minutes of the track end in another wall of white noise distortion and a bass groove that Krist Noveselic would approve of.
Urban Canyons & Beginnings literally rings in with a bell sample and a dreamy jangling guitar riff. Warm echoing vocals slowly follow along with a bass riff. The guitar riff is hypnotic and beautiful. The melody meanders across the track and weaves in and out of the layers of production. The instrumentals on this track are what struck me the most. The bass riff immediately popped out at me. Lyrically and musically, the track takes on a certain ambience that makes it a trip to listen to, and for the genre this music places itself in, that is certainly a positive thing.
The last track is entitled Pinhole Camera which opens with organs and an ethereal guitar riffs. The jangling guitars married to the pulsating drums build the track up to a larger experimental proportion. Acoustic guitars combined with the vocal delivery add a certain warmth to the track. Pinhole Camera is another track which as an epic romantic guitar that is enhanced by the infectious riffs and organs. The track ends with an instrumental lead by guitars and another stellar bass riff and fades out.
Overall, the E.P manages to take on an infectious ambience that was a joy to listen to from start to finish. When you review an album and forget you’re reviewing it rather than on your own personal accord, that is a great thing and it certainly happened here. I would highly recommend this release.
The band is self managed and under an independent label Etxe Records founded by Christopher Goett and Jenn Thomas in 2007. Silo Halo’s Blackout Transmission 12” EP was released on 22nd April 2014 and is available on CD, vinyl, digital and to stream on Spotify.