KC-based three-piece Trampled Under Foot aren't new to the scene but years of hard work are paying off with a rising profile on the blues circuit and Badlands should only aid that momentum.
TUF is a sibling trio of Kris, Nick, and Danielle Schnebelen. My first introduction to them was not through one of their own records but because Danielle and Kris were part of The Healers, an all-star band who performed a benefit show for Blue Star Connection. It was a great show and I highly recommend checking out that live set for both the music and the cause for which it raised money.
That performance had me eager to hear what the band does on its own and I'm not disappointed. What's perhaps most impressive about TUF is their versatility. They write together, trade lead vocals, and exhibit a musical telepathy honed from years playing together. They possess an impressive restraint for a young, contemporary blues band.
They're impressive in the way they write together, trade lead vocals, and play as an ensemble. They demonstrate restraint that is rare for young, contemporary blues bands (and older, more established acts as well). They have a musical telepathy honed from years playing together and a veteran's ear and discipline when it comes to volume, tempo, and soloing.
"Bad Bad Feeling" may be too bluesy for some rock stations but there is such a great blend of the garage/bar band aesthetic and the right kind of polish and songcraft to sound like the kind of tune that belongs on the radio. Danielle, who handles lead on "Feeling," is the strongest of the three as a vocalist but the lads are plenty capable as heard on "Don't Want No Woman" and the title track.
Badlands embodies the ensemble ethos of its creators. There aren't many showcase or standout moments but these songs belong and work together, creating a deeply satisfying listen from beginning to end. It's been a long time coming and Badlands confirms Trampled Under Foot is ready for their moment.