Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Walter Salas-Humara

  • Lagartija [Record Collect, 1988] B-
  • Explodes and Disappears [Sonic Pyramid, 2016] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Lagartija [Record Collect, 1988]
If this were really an ace songwriter doing his own thing, rather than a long-suffering semipro wondering why his group is short a label deal, he'd showcase songwriting. Instead he concentrates on riff-tunes--pretty good ones that aren't what you'd call propelled by the auteur's overdubbed guitar and drums. Which must mean he's saving the ace stuff for the Silos. Good. B-

Explodes and Disappears [Sonic Pyramid, 2016]
The prime mover of the alt-country Silos, who peaked in 1988 but were still recording in 2011, Salas-Humara is a devout traditionalist whose hero is a retired tugboat that once sent more adventurous craft "Into the light of day / And they will travel far, far away." Tugboat-like, his material chugs so steadily that I bet few under 35 will cotton to it, and he never tops a six-minute opener that chronicles the enduring love of a banker and a short-order cook. But just about every song does its work, which most of the time is documenting lives that keep on going. B+