Los Lobos

Los Lobos

Los Lobos

Tin Can Trust

Shout! Factory

Los Lobos was vacuumed up into the early LA punk scene and played along with the more spiky-haired guys who had barely mastered that troublesome E chord. Los Lobos wasn’t exactly punk — they were firmly based in the barrios of East LA, but for a few weeks a blessed multiculturalism allowed East LA to mix with East Hollywood with fewer casualties than are typical. A third of the century later, Los Lobos is chugging along with the same lineup, and has drifted into a classic blues sound which they nail with as much precision as the blues allows.

In the title song “Tin Can Trust,” lead singer and guitarist David Hidalgo bemoans his state in life, living in the street and scraping by to get a brown paper bag full of something to kill the pain. Things might look up some day, but that day ain’t coming this week. “West LA Fade Away” shows a slight improvement in the economy, Hidalgo seeks a 21-room mansion, but can only afford to rent it for an hour. “Jupiter or the Moon” focuses more on love than money, but both still seem a distant, distant possibility. Listen carefully near the beginning of the song — you’ll hear a screen door open in the background, and it’s either love slipping away or a sound guy who was trapped in the studio. Not all is depression and abandonment, or maybe it is. On “27 Spanishes,” a funky, heroin slow beat revisits the Spanish conquest of Mexico. While it’s been almost 500 years, nerves are still raw. Therein lies the heart of Los Lobos’ sound — ancient cultures molded by invasion lead to pride in the face of poverty and adversity, and the easiest outlet is though music. These guys are consistently good, and Tin Can Trust is one of their best.

Los Lobos: www.loslobos.org/site

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