A San Francisco instrumental duo on the borders of more minimal mathrock. I personally really like the style they have, since it is alot more positive, different and active compared to alot of more typical post-rock/instrumental.
– After the Post Rock
Silian Rail is not afraid of catchy pop hooks, and revisits themes throughout their meticulously arranged compositions. Parhelion is a truly riveting and original piece of work from a band quickly on the rise.
– Savage Henry Magazine
Putting it simply, this is the kind of instrumental indie rock I like – enjoyable to listen to, lacking in pretension, technically wowing yet seemingly effortless. Unless you’re the type who needs verses and choruses, it is hard to dislike Silian Rail.
– READ JUNK
There’s no denying the technical prowess of drummer Eric Kuhn and guitarist Robin Landy.
– East Bay Express
Ambient instrumental metal — simultaneously jarring and harmonious.
– SF WEEKLY
Bright jaunts through the math punk landscape. These instrumentals roll and wander quite nicely, doing a fine job of illustrating ideas. A fine setting for some internal housecleaning.
“Parhelion” is their sophomore album, and it’s not hard to hear it. It doesn’t sound like a debut, it sounds like a band who are confident in their approach to constructing songs, using their influences to help shape them but not define them. The tempo-shifts are one of the most impressive aspects of this album, “The Gift” is an example of their ablility to interchange between the quiet/loud dynamic seamlessly, without it being forced and without boring the listener.
Silian Rail is an absolute pleasure to see live. You will leave the show with ringing ears, glazed eyes, the desire to start a new band, and a copy of their latest release Parhelion (Parks and Records) clenched in your sweaty palms.
– SF Station
Unique instrumental duo who make the most of what they’ve got. Lots of shifts in dynamics and it seems like these two have played together for decades (which maybe they have). A bit Slint-ish at times.
– DAGGER ZINE
Parhelion proved itself a pleasurable listen because it refused to settle for bunch of arching, aching, towering anthems built upon repetitive series of quiet-loud-quiet-loud sections. Instead, the listener is presented with cogent song structures with subtle verse-chorus-verse-chorus appeal, meaning that certain key phrases were revisited and revamped within the confines of each five-minute jam.
If I was strapped down to a polygraph, my children held for ransom, my life on the line, and forced to answer a question truthfully, I’d probably say that I don’t like instrumental rock music. I’m good with jazz, fine with African, but instrumental rock music always seems to be lacking that one thing. Oh yeah, vocals. And if the band does manage to mutate and twist their sound around enough to keep my from falling asleep, the songs usually suffer from having their own head way too far up their own ass. Silian Rail is different.
– Ripple Effect
Considering that this band is a duo…they have a really big sound that will probably surprise many listeners. These intricate flowing pieces remind us of many progressive instrumental bands in the United States in the mid to late 1990s.
Silian Rail plays with chaotic drum beats and open-tuned, finger-picked guitars, plus a handful of other instruments – glockenspiel and foot synth – to form a dense, atmospheric sound. Their repetitive songs are asymmetrical, instrumental monoliths.
– San Francisco Chronicle
If you can find an instrumental rock band that you just can’t quite find a comparison for than I think its safe to say you have a winner. That’s certainly a rare quality to have for this genre as it all seems to overlap at times but Silian Rail have settled nicely into their own groove with Parhelion.
– Sound as Language
Their “less is more” approach focuses on textures and natural echo. At first sounding like “roll tape and put out an album” turns out to be a layered piece of work that unveils fresh gems after each listen. The adequately titled Maps And Mazes is a rock song crashing into jazz licks before turning into a vibraphone driven lullaby of sorts – the kind of music that will baffle budding guitarists and put a smile on the face of any musician with an open mind an a good ear.
– Here Comes The Flood
Silian Rail’s new album Parhelion on Parks and Records is worth picking up, but at the Guayaki Mate Bar Friday night, they proved they’re better live; or, at least, the tricks are revealed. Seven or so effects pedals for the guitarist, a drummer that hammers guitar frets while striking the hi-hat and stepping on bass tones with his foot, and the elusive connection required to pull it all off. See them if you can, leave happy and envious.
– City Sound Inertia
Not since I saw Hella have I heard such mind-blowing interplay as that between Oakland guitar-drum duo Silian Rail. Just wait till you see drummer Eric Kuhn hold down a complex beat while playing guitar.
– San Diego City Beat
Robin Landy is one of those guitarists I have to limit myself to hearing just to keep myself from succumbing to the urge to give up and put my guitar down for good, and Eric Kuhn just might be the finest rock drummer you’re likely to hear in the Bay Area today. When they’re on, they’ll simply knock you flat on your ass.
– Pop Dose
Parhelion is filled with the kind of adventurous [yet, melodic] instrumental wandering that has become the signature sound of guitarist Robin L. and multi-instumentalist Erick K. Together they manage to make songs that feel like a narrative; tenuously shifting enough without overindulging in an avant-garde sonic masturbation of sorts [which is sometimes my least favorite part about instrumental bands]. If you close your eyes you can almost see a short film unfolding.
– The Deli Magazine
The music was complicated, but not a challenge. No grease can needed, for the machine is well oiled.
– The Bay Bridged
“Landy crafted stuttering, bass-like guitar lines drenched in spacey atmosphere; Kuhn played everything else – tat-tat drums, synths, guitar, glockenspiel – and sometimes all at once. Unburdened by vocals, the guitar (the spitting image of Lennon’s B&W Rickenbacker) spoke volumes, periodically constructing heavy walls of sound via lose-yourself, blitzkrieg riffing.”
– Performer Magazine
Parhelion (and all the excellent, sprawling, instrumental indie rock therein) can be obtained via Parks and Records, at Sunday’s (CD Release) show, or perhaps even your favorite local record store.
– The Bay Bridged