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KRISTIE AND THE KINDRED Trampled gets 6/10


Kristie and the Kindred
Trampled
Independent

6/10

Kristie and the Kindred is the brainchild project of Kristie Smith, a local singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist preparing to release her debut album on June 30, and by its name, Trampled, we get a glimpse of a woman scorned, and here to give you a mouthful.

Trampled is a mix of genres never staying in one place for too long. RnB and pop songs sit alongside rock and blues songs, both heavy on angsty and direct lyrics.

The album kicks off with Good People, a slickly produced RnB/pop number where the scolding starts, with Smith harshly inviting her church group to “Bite Me.”

The second track, Anything You Want, is reminiscent of 90s Alanis Morissette and holds the most positive message on the album. “You can do anything you want to, lady,” Smith says, complete with the contribution of guest rapper Ross Vegas in the third verse. Lyrically, it has to be the more mature and developed of her songwriting. It’s great to hear a positive message amongst the overwhelming angst on this record, and a little more would be great to balance out the rest of the tracks.

I Forgive You draws a comparison between Smith’s relationship with her ex-mother-in-law and Brooke and Stephanie’s relationship in The Bold and the Beautiful. This could be inferred as a comical, tongue-in-cheek approach, but it becomes apparent pretty soon that she is very serious about her hatred for her “Stephanie.”

Male Ego hits a great stride and is the peak of the album. It’s the bluesy-guitar rock numbers like this on the album that really shine the most. This solid track would pair well with the sounds of other local rockers like Abbe May or Legs Electric.

I Feel Dirty keeps up the blues-rock direction and feels like it could have come from the pen of 90s rockers Melissa Etheridge or Baby Animals. Smith’s voice really feels at home with this style and has a little more edge than in the RnB numbers. The production also feels more natural and organic in the traditional rock-band based tracks.

The closing ballad serves as a hate letter to convicted North Perth paedophile Vincenzo Mule. A diss track is a great way to vocalise and air your disdain for someone, but the subject matter in this final track has you leaving the album with a sour taste in your mouth. The final lyrics “You should die slowly,” is a sentiment most of us would agree with given the context, but not really what you want to hear at the end of a record.

There is some really crafty songwriting here highlighted by quality musicianship. Unfortunately, a little too often it is overshadowed by some far too literal lyrical content which can come across as a little corny. Maybe that is the point, but I believe listeners would prefer to hear lyrics that offer a more poetic and less direct approach, illustrating the point and producing the same effect creatively. The blues/rock tracks are the ones that come across as the most real and sincere on Trampled, and hopefully Smith is able to build on this in her future work.

ANTHONY JACKSON

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