Trampled By Turtles – Life is Good on the Open Road (album review)

by Woody on May 7, 2018

Photo by David McClister

Trampled By Turtles strike such a nerve with me cause they’re able to balance an album with songs that drive forward with a manner that borders on unhinged with songs that wear their hearts on the sleeve. After a four year hiatus since Wild Animals, the Minneapolis sextet have reached some new heights with Life is Good on the Open Road.

after a year apart, the genesis for Life is Good on the Open Road was some time together at (Banjo) Dave Carroll’s cabin in the woods. As they settled in, American experienced their worst mass shooting and lost of its musical icons in Tom Petty. This was a lot for us all to take in, but trying to reconnect with “family” to see if a big portion of your life was worth continuing must have been somewhat daunting. But sometimes trying circumstances can bring out the best in your family.

And that’s what happened here. The time away had led the band to conclude that needed as Dave Simonett and Erik Berry put it, to “return to form.” I’m willing to step out on a limb and say that Life is Good on the Open Road will wind up as my favorite TBT album.

The return to form was clearly evident by their lead single and opening track, Kelly’s Bar, a tune inspired by a pub that Simonett hung at during his time living in Red Wing, MN. The last track, I Learned The Hard Way, is in the vein of Again. It is a love track that will tug on your heart strings.

In between there is so much goodness. Thank You, John Steinback is a lovely mid-tempo number about where the protagonist reminisces about his the hometown while on the road. Annihilate see the boys stepping on the gas and Blood in the Water is full on punk. I Went to Hollywood is another winner, feels like it can be a good audience participation number.

While some bands are veering away from drew their fans in, TBT doubled down on what got them here and produced something magical.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Trampled By Turtles is here

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