The Silos were alternative-country before alternative-country was cool. Yes, that means the '80s, when country music was just as tarted up and synthy as hair farmer bands were. Before Uncle Tupelo put a stamp on it and called it No Depression, there was the Silos. Led by Walter Salas-Humara, the son of exiled Cuban parents, and Bob Rupe, the pair released several unassuming country/folk rock indie albums like About Her Steps and Cuba that were as lauded by critics as they were ignored by the general public. Nonetheless, RCA signed them in 1990 and released their eponymous debut. By the time the album ran its course, Rupe split to form the Vulgar Boatmen, and a Rupe-less Silos released two more halfhearted albums before taking a seven-year sabbatical. Now on their third tour of duty since reactivation with the just-released When the Telephone Rings, the Silos seem more prone than ever to rocking it garage-style while still keeping a pedal steel player on the payroll.