There’s a groove that Los Lobos keeps finding on Tin Can Trust that’s kind of slow and that seems like the ultimate cruising music, perfect to listen to if you’re driving down a street as inviting as the one described in “On Main Street.” But the scenery isn’t always so pleasant. What fuels the desperation of “Burn it Down” and “All My Bridges Burning” remains vague but real, the title track and “West L.A. Fadeaway” bring money problems into the mix, and there are lonely hearts in both English and Spanish.
So why is Tin Can Trust uplifting rather than depressing? Because with music this inspiring it’s hard to be glum. The incendiary guitar solos on “Burn it Down,” the two Spanish pieces, the consistently catchy melodies, the tribal- sounding drums and nimble bass lines are all impressive, as are the jagged rhythms and haunting melodies of “27 Spanishes,” a micro-history of the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Describing the fate of both sides, the last verse speaks volumes: “Later they became muy friendly/And their blood was often mixed/Now they all hang out together/And play guitars for kicks.” Tin Can Trust reminds us that no matter how dark things get out there music remains a vital force.