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Los Lobos

Tin Can Trust

Shout Factory!

Buy if you like: Neil Young, Tom Petty

Young pop acts are going back to the 1980s for inspiration, so why shouldn't bands that came of age during the 1980s do so themselves? On "I'll Burn It Down," the opener to Los Lobos' new Tin Can Trust, the Los Angeles roots-rock legends (nearing their 35th anniversary) channel fellow Angeleno band X, with guest blues singer Susan Tedeschi filling Exene Cervenka's nasal-harmony role. The album's one cover tune is the Grateful Dead's "West L.A. Fadeaway," a song from the proto-jam-band's mid-80s period. And the crooner chorus of "Jupiter or the Moon" could be mistaken for a Squeeze song. Fortunately, the '80s act Los Lobos most imitates is itself. Tin Can Trust emphasizes essential Lobos elements like Spanish-language fare (two tracks here), subtle production that masks their ferocious virtuosity, and world-weariness that draws listeners in close with threadbare poetry and languorous instrumental solos. — Marc Weidenbaum

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Black Label Society

Order of the Black

E1 Music

Buy if you like: Ozzy Osbourne, Alice in Chains

Freed up from his long-running and no doubt time-consuming gig as Ozzy Osbourne's primary songwriting collaborator and guitarist, Zakk Wylde now has a home studio in which he can spend as much time making music as he likes. So one might have expected Wylde and his band, Black Label Society, to have been perfectly positioned to breathe new life into their new album, Order of the Black. Instead, this is mostly more of the same from Wylde and company, which will be welcome news for the band's considerable fan base. Wylde gives them what they want: pile-driving rockers like "Crazy Horse" and "Black Sunday," some blistering lead guitar work, and a few ballads masculine enough to have hair on them. Eight albums into his run fronting Black Label Society, would a little more artistic progression be so bad? On the other hand, you can't say he's not consistent. — Alan Sculley

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Various Artists

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

ABKCO

Buy if you like: Beck, Frank Black

The best soundtracks evoke a film's mood while also standing on their own. This one's a just-right mix of funny, quirky obscurities (the Bluetones' "Sleazy Bed Track," Frank Black's "I Heard Ramona Sing"), time-bending classics (T. Rex's Rocky Horror-worthy "Teenage Dream," the Stones' "Under My Thumb") and Beck Hansen-created originals for Scott Pilgrim's cutely punky band, Sex Bob-omb ("We're here to make you think about death and get sad and stuff!"). Beachwood Sparks intriguingly deconstructs Sade's "By Your Side," and Sex Bob-omb's "Garbage Truck," "Threshold" and "Summertime" make perfect, fuzzed-out sense. (Beck handled the instrumental work; the cast sings). Other standouts include Metric's "Black Sheep" and Beck's own "Ramona," an orchestral, ethereal break from the rockers. The soundtrack also makes you want to check out the movie, which should be a rockin' good time. — Lynne Margolis

  • Los Lobos, Black Label Society, soundtrack to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

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