I’m starting to suspect that the rise in particularly powerful strains of modern psychedelic rock can be traced to a couple of cultural developments. Previously hard-to-find recordings by the forerunners of the musical movement are now easier than ever to obtain in digital form. As well, underground chemists are making dynamic strides in the creation of some delightfully neurotransmitter-tweaking LSD.
Combine those two elements, and what you end up with might sound like the work of Doug Tuttle. Originally a member of the intoxicating motorik hustlers known as MMOSS, the New Hampshire native is taking further leaps into the cosmic beyond with this, his first solo venture.
It’s an album custom-made for deep headphone listening, and Tuttle and his cohorts pack the stereo field with incident and instrument. He tends to separate instruments between each channel, the better to disorient the listener—like on “Forget The Days,” where the majority of the song rattles away in the left speaker and a ghostly echo of an acoustic guitar and a Mellotron creep quietly along in the right. The work also adds to the cumulative effect of a track like “Where You Plant Your Love…Is Where It Grows,” which spills out from the center like a Rorschach test.
Like a lot of these modern psych records, Doug Tuttle does lose a little something in its attempt to so closely replicate the sound of its late ‘60s brethren. As he proved on MMOSS’ two LPs, he’s a player who’s capable of going into full freak-out mode. But what you get here are restrained solos and a lot of triple-thick rhythm work that has a cumulative weight—but not enough to make me wish I was getting blasted in the face with it in a live setting.
Considering the care that Tuttle put into the sonics of these 11 tracks, as well as the overall warmth that oozes out of each song like a thick blanket, the album doesn’t make sense to shake your limbs out to. This is for spacing out and getting lost in. Besides, if you listen to it in the manner that I think Tuttle wants, you’ll be far too stoned to even consider peeling yourself off the couch to dance.