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Bend sludge-rock band Silvero might just be our town's best-kept, live-music secret

A friend sends you an email telling you to check out a band you've never heard of. Naturally, the next step is plugging that band's name into a search engine.

When this happens to me, I always hope the band is kick ass—no one wants to tell a friend that their taste in music sucks.

So when a fellow staffer at the Source sent me an email suggesting I check out Bend band Silvero for my Listen Local series, I crossed my fingers and started researching. After all, if she was right, I needed to know ahead of their Jan. 5 show at The Horned Hand.

As with most local bands, there wasn't a lot on the Web about them—mostly just Facebook pictures. In fact, all I could really figure out is that they tore up Alaska on a tour over the summer, which apparently included a night where the entire band rocked out in their underwear.

A show in Fairbanks prompted a local radio DJ to write about Silvero as well as their only released work, a six-song LP titled Spiritual Vamp.

"I am happy to say the sound we all saw live is pretty comparable on this LP, with all the moans, five-minute sludge interjections, and random cowbell intact," wrote Brady Gross. "The only thing missing is the dueling live instrumentation and entrancing dance moves front-woman Nella exhibits while in the moment of feeling these songs instead of just singing them."

His description sounded pretty promising. It was time to dig into the album.

I was instantly surprised by what I heard. The first track, "Terrebonne Honey," started out dark and methodic—a gritty psych-rock track. But just a few seconds in, the pounding drums made for an up-tempo moment before being overtaken by one of the "sludge interjections" Gross had mentioned.

For five more songs—including the 12-minute "Longhornz" and 10-minute "Opium Honey," Spiritual Vamp continued to impress. It was an expertly crafted rock album in the vein of unpolished Pixies.

Still, I had to find out if Silvero members really were the crazy rockers their pics and concert review indicated. To do that, I had to go to the source: guitarist and lead singer James Ryan Adams, also of Bend band of Rural Demons.

"I guess we are on stage," said Adams, a Bend resident who originally hails from California. "We like to let it hang out. A lot of it just comes out because the music demands some reactions."

And what about that underwear show? According to Adams, it might have been a one-off event.

"That was at a house party in Alaska," said Adams. "It's definitely easier to take your clothes off in front of strangers than it is to do it in front of friends back home."

Adams also indicated that getting a little nutty off stage is a tour "must."

"In California we had some crazy moonshine," said Adams, whom you may have seen working behind the bar at Crow's Feet Commons. "We were in the hills outside Santa Cruz after a show and some people gave it to us. It was like 95-percent alcohol and dried out your tongue immediately. They also had some that was infused with marijuana."

Given that improperly prepared moonshine can kill or make you blind or something else terrible, such risk management (or lack of) seems to be in alignment with the persona of a spontaneous rock 'n' roll band.

Based on their debut album, these guys are definitely rockers. And based on their road antics, they're at least a little crazy—an encouraging trait for a rock band.

We'll just have to wait and see if Silvero uncorks a bit of wildness and gives Bend the nearly naked version. Underwear show or not, their upcoming concert should test the boundaries of our noise ordinance.


9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5

The Horned Hand

507 NW Colorado Ave.

$5, 21+

About The Author

Ethan Maffey

Both a writer and a fan of vinyl records since age 5, it wasn't until nearly three decades later that Oregon Native Ethan Maffey derived a plan to marry the two passions by writing about music. From blogging on MySpace in 2007 and then Blogspot, to launching his own website, 83Music, and eventually freelancing...
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