“Palomino” feels like an old, American small town, pulling the audience in from the start. Trampled by Turtles effectively translate their own experiences growing up in the miniscule burg of Duluth, Minn. The album offers listeners a unique experience with its truly distinct mix of blue grass, country and indie.
The opening song, “Wait So Long,” echoes the old musical battles of times passed. This song sky-rocketed as a single and truly put a barrier between the band and acts that are of a similar nature. The song is one of the strongest Trampled by Turtles has ever written and even snagged them on spot on national TV with a music video. The video revealed that the band actually plays sitting down, which is hard to believe because of the energy that they put into their music.
It truly seems like the entire band is at war with itself instrumentally for most of the album. Lead singer Dave Simonett accompanies the fast-paced music with his semi-raspy country voice that sends chills down most listeners’ spines. The majority of the album is a story based around unrequited love and the struggles of life in a small town.
The listener is bombarded with several instruments, including a mandolin, guitar, bass, fiddle and banjo. There are instrumental pieces such as “New Son/Burnt Iron” and “Sounds Like a Movie” that truly show off the band’s superior instrumentation in a haunting view. Without Simonett’s voice, the audience’s minds can wander and envision scenes that take part in between the songs with vocals.
However, the band isn’t just fast guitar licks and banjo flicking. They have softer songs such as “Victory” that seem to suffer from jam band digression with the group unable to throw everything they have into the song. “Again” finishes up the album with a quiet twist. While lacking the same impressive musicianship of other tracks, these songs truly bring Simonett’s substantial vocal talents to the forefront.
Several times throughout the album, one question keeps popping to mind: why are they playing so fast? It’s kind of bewildering at times the way the band plucks at their instruments like there is no tomorrow. However, this technique does make them stand out among the masses of bands trying to achieve the same effect. But no band is quite like Trampled by Turtles.