Formed six years ago, Columbus's Silo the Huskie sounds like an indie rock band from another era. The dynamic guitar work and high-pitched vocals compare to acts such as Camper van Beethoven, Hüsker Dü, and Dinosaur Jr. -- bands that defined independent rock in the early and mid-'80s. After two self-released cassettes, the band released its third album, Fight
, on its own label two years ago, Xeroxing the artwork and duplicating copies to sell at shows. The new self-titled record for San Diego-based Cargo Records is actually a reissue of Fight
. It has three fewer songs than Fight
, but the remaining 12 tracks culled from that record have been remastered and resequenced. And Silo the Huskie
also comes with legitimate artwork. Given its perseverance and energy, it's hard not to admire the band for its work ethic and, in an almost nostalgic way, find something redeeming about its approach, as outdated as it might be.
Tracks such as "Town and Country," "I Believe in Tornadoes," and "Fifth of July" are delivered with hyperventilating vocals and melodic guitars. The sense of urgency running through the songs is undoubtedly responsible for comparisons to contemporary emo acts such as Built to Spill and Modest Mouse. While Silo the Huskie has been described as "Americana alt-rock noise," the closest it comes to fitting the description is when it evokes Neil Young on songs such as "Past Perfect," "While You Were Out," and "Pug." And even then, the group's country affections are buried beneath guitars that charge and lurch more recklessly than anything by the Jayhawks or Wilco.