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Trampled Under Foot ‎– Badlands (2013)

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Trampled Under Foot ‎– Badlands (2013)

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1 	Bad Bad Feeling 	
2 	Dark Of The Night 	
3 	Don't Want No Woman 	
4 	Mary 	
5 	Badlands 	
6 	You Never Really Loved Me 	
7 	Pain In My Mind 	
8 	I Didn't Try 	
9 	Desperate Heart 	
10 	Down To The River	
11 	Home To You 	
12 	Two Go Down 	
13 	It's A Man's Man's Man's World

Backing Vocals – Lisa Swedelund
Bass, Vocals – Danielle Schnebelen
Drums, Vocals – Kris Schnebelen
Guitar, Vocals – Nick Schnebelen
Keyboards – Mike Finnigan
Percussion – Tony Braunagel
+
Acoustic Guitar – Johnny Lee Schell (10)

 

There’s always something special about sibling groups. Maybe it’s the fact that the related band members share much of their background with each other, resulting in the musical elements brought to the band coming from a similar place. Or maybe it’s simply that there’s a heart-warming element to seeing brothers and sisters playing music together. Either way, know that all three members of Trampled Under Foot share the same musical influences, the same drive for success, and the same parents.

Trampled Under Foot’s major label debut, Badlands, has a particular unity to it. The album will leave you feeling as though you’re going somewhere, and at thirteen tracks it takes its time. The trio have an organic sound perhaps a little too lush for an album called Badlands. Electric pianos and guitars quiver in and out atop heavy, driving drum work. Vocal duty is split between Danielle and Nick Schnebelen, each bringing a different element to the music that goes beyond the difference between a male and female vocalist. Nick’s voice has a soulful, rock and roll quality to it, whereas Danielle’s a strong earnestness. The unabashed southern elements that comprise the instrumentation adhere well to Trampled Under Foot’s strong melodies, and Badlands avoids getting caught in the trap of monotony.

Trampled Under Foot shines best in their edgier, riff-based songs, such as “I Didn’t Try.” An element of quirkiness is added here as well, as the occasional bar is cut off halfway to make room for the next. Nick’s steel guitar makes an appearance on “Down to the River,” which also has one of the catchiest hooks on the album. There are some spectacular moments of brooding moodiness as well, such as the record’s title track. Danielle’s writing has also gotten far more ambitious than the typical blues lyricism previous Trampled Under Foot releases have been comprised, of, even questioning traditional gender roles in “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.”

Trampled Under Foot have had some years to hone their craft, and it’s beginning to show. Wrong Side of the Blues put them on the map, and now that Badlands has begun to enthrall listeners, it’s no doubt why Trampled Under Foot are being hailed as one of the more significant artists of the blues. Badlands shows signs of ambition while still remaining catchy and accessible, and still staying true to blues. --- Richard MacDougall, bluesrockreview.com

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