CD Review: James Tuttle

James Tuttle

James Tuttle, of local bands Jones (and also formerly of King of Crows/Feather and Bones) has released a solo album. Entitled TuttleVision, it differs from either of his more recent outputs. It’s less punk-infused psych rock or the straight bluesy filth of some numbers but more akin to Feather and Bone’s most ethereal moments.
The EP opens with “Whatever.” Vocally Tuttle seems to be channeling Syd Barrett in his vocal days, particularly the droning, hypnotic, deadpan he used. The chorus sounds like something Kurt Cobain would’ve written. This song also some excellent guitar work, particularly in the opening bass line, which is no surprise to anyone familiar with his previous bands.
“She Dreams” is the next song, and true to the title the song is extremely dreamy. When the percussion kicks in it’s like dropping into an acid trip, with guitars straight from a Beatles album, as James poetry floats over it.
Next is the bouncy “Met My Baby” which features some of Tuttle’s strongest lyrics on the album, they’re almost lullaby like in their simplicity: “She is my electric queen / Her eyes are sparkling green.” The bass is punchy, the drums catchy, and the guitars can soothe or shred depending on the moment. It’s a very sweet song, kind of Doors-y, and stands out as my favorite.
The final song, “Finding the Way,” is slow and ethereal; it features Tuttle at his most serene, particularly when he’s singing, “don’t need a thing” in a voice like a lazy day. He sounds similar to Jim Morrison at moments in this song.
You should pick up this EP if you’re a fan of 60s rock viewed through a contemporary lens, or if you’re just a fan of wonderfully crafted songs.
-Ethan Smith