Tautologic – Re:Psychle (Turtle Down Music, 2018)
Tautologic is a progressive rock ensemble from Chicago with a unique quirky personality. Their latest album is Re:Psychle, a set of songs inspired by everyday Chicagoans.
While Tautologic’s sound is grounded in progressive rock, the lyrics are idiosyncratic and sarcastic, similar in spirit to Frank Zappa’s work and the Canterbury bands.
The band is led by multi-instrumentalist Ethan Sellers who delivers superb keyboard work throughout the album. What’s refreshing about Re:Psychle is the fact that Sellers stays true to the progressive music spirit by combining state of the art classic progressive rock with chamber music elements, jazz and other influences such as funk and even unexpected Afrobeat-style brass on one song.
Topics portrayed in Re:Psychle include substance use and behavioral health as well as veterans’ concerns, friction between religious conviction and a secular culture, conspiracy theories, celebrity culture, and the need for re- joining nature.
Sellers collaborates with a remarkable cast of musicians. Guitarist Aaron Weistrop showcases his talent as an instrumentalist who extracts top notch guitar sounds and avoids tired hard and heavy metal riffing. Weistrop also provides captivating interplay with violinist Jeff Yang.
The lineup on Re:Psychle includes Ethan Sellers on vocals, keyboards and acoustic guitar; Pat Buzby on drums; Nathan Britsch on bass; Chris Greene on tenor and alto saxophones; Aaron Weistrop on electric guitars; Jeff Yang on violin; Nick Photinos on cello; Aron Topielski on bass; Jennifer Reddick on flutes and piccolo; Michael Maccaferri on clarinets; Johnny Showtime Janowiak on trombone; Eric Koppa on baritone saxophone; Micah Frazier on trumpet; Diana Lawrence on bridge vocals; Jennifer Justice on bridge vocals; and Lillie Sellers on spoken word.
Re:Psychle is a finely crafted prog rock album that combines meaningful, uninhibited lyrics and first class musicianship.