While "eclectic" is an overused term, it would be difficult to describe the jazzy-jam sound of Vermont's Silo in any other way. The trio's debut effort, Prequel, which features four studio jams and two live cuts, isn't quite an instant classic. Still, it's a solid introduction to a band brimming with enthusiasm.
Silo comprise three young musicians, including keyboardist Matthew Day, drummer Skyler Bailey and guitarist Xander Naylor. These talented upstarts refuse to be pinned down to any one style, flaunting multiple musical influences and approaches throughout the course of the record. Opening cut "Tripleday" bounces through a sparse introductory section of piano and drum-driven funk, slowly adding guitar licks before dropping off into a gospel-esque organ interlude. With a meandering sound vaguely recalling that of college faves O.A.R., the tune utilizes the tried-and-true jam-band technique of incorporating several styles into a single song.
The trad-jazz-influenced "Pond Song" is followed by an anti-urban-sprawl anthem entitled "Meadow Song." In addition to being one of only two cuts with vocals, the latter track features the album's most fully realized guitar solos. Add some tasty r&b organ and you've got what may be the disc's catchiest track. While the lyrics themselves won't inspire awe, the band's powerful musicianship makes up for any vocal shortcomings.
The smooth guitar and piano interplay on "Clary's Net" leads into "Doubleday" and "Flange," both of which are live cuts. Recorded at Chipman Point Marina and the Stone Hearth Inn, respectively, these tracks prove the band can shine even without the aid of studio equipment or editing. Boasting exceptional energy and inspired guitar work, they demonstrate Silo's passion for their material. With the exception of a quiet vocal mix, the recording quality of the live tunes is exemplary.
It's encouraging to hear a new generation of musicians taking their craft so seriously. With their considerable chops and zeal, Silo are on their way to becoming the Green Mountains' next fusion heroes. Prequel is the first chapter in what should prove to be an exciting musical storyline. Silo can be heard at Nectar's on Wednesday, September 28.