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Los Lobos – Tin Can Trust

Los Lobos, Tin Can Trust

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

LOS Lobos are forever destined to be a name synonymous with La Bama, their breakthrough, soar-away hit that still manages to bring a smile to the face whenever it gets played.

But there’s so much more to them than that single record, as new album Tin Can Trust emphatically proves.

Essentially, it’s a collection of Mexican-influenced rock, country and blues that were all recorded together by the full band in the studio, giving the album a cohesive, live feel.

Most of the tracks were written by Louie Perez and David Hidalgo, but again, the shared input of the whole band resulted in a united sound that ties the album together; Yo Canto and Mujer Ingrata (both Spanish language tracks) were written by Cesar Rosas, and All My Bridges Burning was co-written by Rosas and The Grateful Dead’s Robert Hunter.

Los Lobos go back a long way with The Grateful Dead, having appeared with them on stage, and Hunter and Rosas have written together before. To mark this long-time friendship, The Dead’s West L.A. Fadeaway – a band live favourite – has also finally been put down on tape.

The result has a classic rock album vibe that infuses the energy and live enthusiasm, and Mexican influence, of Los Lobos with nods to American blues and rock stalwarts ranging from John Lee Hooker and Jeff Healey to The Grateful Dead and Eric Clapton.

Tracks to look out for include the storming album opener Burn It Down, which embodies the classic American rock sound they pull off so effectively, complete with dusky guitar riffs and mandolin shots, and the bluesy brilliance of All My Bridges Burning, which contains some stonking blues solos and a really sorrowful vibe that’s somehow incredibly inspiring (a real 5 out of 5 moment).

En route, there’s the groovy On Main Street, which boasts a set of vocals that recall Clapton in his prime, and hooks that are guaranteed to get you shuffling (not to mention a soulful chorus), the Hispanic groover that is Yo Canto, which embraces its Mexican origins and gets those hips swinging, and the laidback Tin Can Trust, an ode to aimlessness that has a deliciously lazy vibe.

There’s some rousing guitar work to enjoy throughout the instrumental foot shuffler Do The Murray, which is the sound of the band just kicking back and having some fun, while the blues return in earnest for their cover of The Dead’s West LA Fadeaway, which also carries a Clapton mixed with John Lee Hooker vibe.

Admittedly, there’s a slightly cheesy element attached to the horn-laden Mujer Ingrata, but the album ends strong with the dusky 27 Spanishes… the type of track that wouldn’t sound out of place on another Desperado soundtrack if ever there was one.

In short, Los Lobos have created a really great album that has plenty to reward fans of classic rock and blues. Long may their success continue.

Download picks: Burn It Down, West LA Fadeaway, On Main Street, Yo Canto, All My Bridges Burning, 27 Spanishes

Track listing:

  1. Burn It Down
  2. On Main Street
  3. Yo Canto
  4. Tin Can Trust
  5. Jupiter Or The Moon
  6. Do The Murray
  7. All My Bridges Burning
  8. West LA Fadeaway
  9. The Lady Of The Rose
  10. Mujer Ingrata
  11. 27 Spanishes