Like the Silos’ best work, Come On Like the Fast Lane is gutsy, a little sparse, and often deceptively joyful. Walter Salas-Humara’s songwriting has always been steeped in the past, whether he was nodding at the Stones on the Silos’ early alt.country classics or the Velvet Underground with his guitar-heavy art rock leanings later on. This time, Salas-Humara’s iPod seems stuck on 1994. The bright, toe-tapping “Tell Me You Love Me” would be at home on a Lemonheads album. “Keeping Score” churns and soars like early Smashing Pumpkins. “People Are Right” like a lost track from Phish’s “Rift,” and there are even splashes of Soundgarden in the chorused riffing of “Top of the World.” The new touches might be the influence of Jonathan Spottiswoode and Steve Wynn, who co-wrote a few tracks.
But Fast Lane is pure Silos. Whether the starting point is cowpunk, art rock, or grunge, the Silos play with the stripped-down attitude of a garage band. When Salas-Humara sings “Come on over to our side or get out of our way,” it’s convincing. And not too many bands could pull off a love song called “Kickass” without sounding campy or pandering. For the Silos, it’s just naturally cool.