September 1, 2010

Week 51: Tin Can Phone - Tin Can Phone EP

(This is week 51 of my 52 Austin CD Reviews in 52 Weeks Project)  

“But as we walk along the path of life
Each experience is significant and that is why
I’m dying to tell you the things I’ve learned” - Zero

Tin Can Phone
Tin Can Phone

Thanks to Greg “Phive” Cooper, I’ve been introduced to some really good local reggae bands in the last year. One of those is Austin’s Tin Can Phone (TCP).  The released an EP in October 2009 that finally made it into my hands last month.

This EP is equal parts rock and reggae. Songs like “Murder” and “Snake Eyes” bring the pop-rock offering to the table. “Fell Off,” “Hardly Care,” and “Zero” bring the Reggae feel. The sound TCP harnesses is a laid-back one that has a Sublime meets Jack Johnson feel to it.

“Murder” kicks the album off strong with a sweet Josh Nicholson supplied guitar-riff. Next up is the summeresque feel of “Fell Off.” Then the reggae-infused jam “Hardly Care” comes next with a creeping rhythm.

My favorite track, “Snake Eyes” is a rocker with a building groove that seems to layer as the song progresses. “They say that lightning won’t strike the same place twice / But don’t you know that every time I roll the dice I get snake eyes.”

“Zero” ends the EP on a high point. It’s got a feel that reminds me of “Smoke Two Joints,” the original version by The Toyes more than the Sublime cover).

Vocally, Matt Rusin commands the mic and delivers his message in a conversational style.. almost at a whisper at times. The rhythm is supplied nicely by Tyler Rusin (bass) and Bert Mesa (drums).

Tin Can Phone is playing this Monday (Labor Day) at 2:00p.m. in San Marcos, Texas at the San Marcos River Reggae Festival. Also on the bill for this show is The Original Wailers, The Movement, Full Service, Ashes of Babylon Carlton Pride & Zion, and Chris Boomer. For tickets (just $10).. visit

For more information about Tin Can Phone, visit You can also download an "unoffical album" called Fifteen Songs for free here.

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