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Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Rock Alternative





In between the countless waiters looking to be actors and plastic surgery mishaps in LA sits Culprit. They’re a true blue rock band who doesn’t fit into a niche, but does fulfill a need on the west coast. That’s why it’s great to hear they’ll be trekking up and down their home state with Ghost Parade.

Culprit’s last record was 2013’s Totem, which was well received and proved to have a steady footing. They’ve managed to entertain audiences all over the US from LA to the east coast and back again with songs like “Knock On The Sky” and “Piece of Eden.”

Not only will they be hitting up California, but they’ll take the show to Arizona and Vegas as well starting at the end of May and wrapping up in early June. You can check out the dates and the tour poster after the jump. - Under The Gun

"Culprit - Totem - Album Review"

If music was the only thing you knew about a band, you would never know how young Culprit is. Experts in the songwriting craft, the Los Angeles quartet have returned with a follow up to the beloved Analogue EP released in 2011. Now with fairly extensive touring and other experiences under their belt, they're gearing to release Totem, a collection of work that embodies their grounded passion for making music - music that veterans would be pleased to amalgamate late in their careers, not as their second official release.

"Totem" swings in with glossy chords played against slow burning guitar licks that swell with Travis Powell's vocals in the chorus or take flight with Jason Michalski's rambunctious drums and Zach Blumenfeld's thick bass tones in the verses. It evolves from a summery introduction to a dark and ambient conclusion that is a fairly accurate representation of Totem in its tonal aspects. The song ends with a particularly striking mood that plays out in a way that is much heavier than the typical Culprit track. Not to worry, as tasteless breakdown cliches are avoided and Culprits's own fresh twist is spun and the final product is both unique and vibrant, like the instrumental love child of Armor For Sleep and As Tall As Lions. This buoyant take on melody is extremely prevalent, especially in Supply and Command, a particular highlight of the album. Sporadic rhythms that nod to Circa Survive (see "The Difference Between Medicine and Poison Is In the Doses" and compare that sweet, sweet groove) become the foundation to varied guitar presentations, be they atmospheric leads, gritty strumming, tremolo picking or the like.

The centerpieces of Totem are where casual listeners may be lost, if only for a moment. Bear with me here: "Knock On The Sky" showcases falsetto vocals particularly, with instrumentally bare verses that places more emphasis on the vocals before switching to a hook -laced chorus that resonates with a tinge of desperation. "No More" moves at the same pace with segments of flowing ambiance and the warmth of sounds fading in and out, but doesn't do much to differentiate itself from other tracks. "Bodies Divided" sees a much softer vocal delivery that borders falsetto but pleasantly streams along in mid tempo instrumentals that sound as if they could have been featured on Able Bodies (compliments of Dryw Owens behind the board?) and slowly comes to its end. So what seems to be the problem with these tracks? On an individual basis, nothing. Collectively, though, they're tightly grouped together to their detriment as they share overlapping features that don't seem to promote variety as whole, which could potentially lose listeners.

"We're To Blame" saves the day though, with its vibrant introduction bringing some step in the pace and breaking up some monotony. This melodic aggression resurfaces in spirit as Powell cries out the songs title for one of the EP's biggest display of emotion, particularly those of passion and remorse even, and this display carries on into one last treat. "Piece of Eden" brings Totem to a close with another one of its best songs. An audible salute to "Strangers," from the Analogue EP, it's sure to captivate both long time and new fans. Brian Fulda again flaunts his impeccable ear for compelling melodies as delayed guitar lines flicker through and through, something we loved to hear from The Graduate mixed with splashes of I, The Mighty. Every performance is cohesive, perfectly dynamic in their individual spaces and in tune with each other. It serves as Totem's final impression and it certainly is a lasting one that will guarantee repeated listens.

Yes, Totem has its share of weaknesses, namely that a few songs blend together. But it avoids many of the problems up and coming bands succumb to, while excelling at prolific songwriting that few can achieve, especially this early in their career. With the recent backing of a promising label, the pairing of two quality producers, and now two albums that lay the groundwork for something truly spectacular, now is certainly the time to watch Culprit closely.

7.5/10 - AbsolutePunk


Los Angeles up-and-comers Culprit are still relatively under the radar, but that’s not something that will last much longer. The four-piece has poured effort and honesty into their latest EP Totem, proving their talent musically on every track with dynamics and powerful lyrics to make the listener grasp the emotion in each verse. It’s honestly hard to believe that Totem is only their second release. Despite Culprit’s freshman status, the band is delivering their A-game without a doubt and are sure to make serious headway in the future.

Leading the EP is title track “Totem.” The opening line, “We’ve never seen in light of all these years / That the only thing in our way are our fears,” catches attention with a bit of lyrical wisdom before diving into a few bars of beautiful rhythmic instrumentals. Guitarist Brian Fulda sets the mood with sharp and clear riffs that comfortably collide with vocalist/guitarist Travis Powell’s moody chords, which flow easily throughout the EP. “Supply and Command” starts with some heavier guitar, but adeptly changes from loud to calm and back again. Powell shows off some powerful vocals in the final repetition of the chorus before the song ends abruptly with him declaring, “I can’t throw my punches anymore.”

However, Powell truly shines vocally in “Knock on the Sky”, which features an intense shift in dynamics throughout the track. Easing you in to the song are the staccato guitars and dragged out vocals of the verse and the heavier chorus, while enticing lyrics simply roll of Powell’s tongue with lines like, “The consistent inconsistency turns into insecurity under the shroud of self-doubt.” The song builds up further until Powell brings out a surprisingly forceful scream, which then bleeds into a soft, almost mumble of words. The contrast in volume and style shows Culprit’s rougher edges, which prove just as captivating.

The EP continues more or less along the same lines, with an edgy ebb and flow of dynamic throughout. “No More” takes on a sultrier sound from the low pulse of the rhythm section, while “Bodies Divided” remains one of the steadier, slightly more relaxed tracks. Touching on a lyrical theme of inadequacy is “We’re To Blame”. Powell’s chorus, “We’re to blame/ for what we couldn’t see/ and all the things that we just couldn’t be,” makes it seem like blame is being placed simply for not being good enough, but he sings of overcoming the shortfalls later with the more uplifting lines, “It goes to show that this wasn’t just a waste of time/ We’ll show them what we’re made of.”

“Piece of Eden” closes the EP as a concept song that features elements of mystery in the lyrics, Powell’s unique voice that catches in all the right places, and beautiful musicianship that weaves within the story artfully with every carefully thought out note. The dark, shadowy imagery makes this song somewhat haunting, The memorable line, “We move through clouded spaces” really ties this song together as it repeats throughout the chorus to describe a secretive, unnamed group. Powell has noted that the concept describes a battle between good and evil, a story of mysterious groups that are possibly trying to save the world from themselves.

With Totem, Culprit show off not only an obvious talent but a craft in their music. The lyrics aren’t entirely complex but tell stories with a clever use of vocabulary and Powell’s voice bringing feeling to the words. What’s more impressive is the sheer quality of musicianship and production present on the EP. Each note and chord is played with clear precision. Their sound is unique and genuine and the band has shown true potential since their debut EP Analogue. As with that EP, Culprit still leave something to be desired – like a full-length – after this tantalizing release. Totem only compounds upon their talent and proves that Culprit have true potential for longevity.

Rating 4.25/5 - idobi network/idobi radio


If you’re like me, you’ve been anticipating Totem for well over a year – at least since the release of “Knock on the Sky” last summer. Well, I’m here to tell you that this EP is worth the wait. Taking the sound from Analogue and injecting it with even more space, structure, and deliberateness, the band has developed stronger atmospheres, more impactful movements, and the most memorable lyrics and hooks of its work to date. Totem sees Culprit developing its songwriting abilities, growing tighter as a band, and unloading a great deal of talent into seven tracks full of different textures, powerful vocals, and a seemingly endless stream of strong guitar lines. It’s not a perfect release, but it’s sure to keep you interested for its duration and make you excited for what the band does next. Although the EP starts off with a slightly clumsy first line, the rest of “Totem” is structured flawlessly. The song is dynamic, with plenty of little details and embellishments to keep you interested with every listen, and it’s easy to see why this is the title track – it shows how the band has grown since its debut in terms of how tight they’ve become as a unit, and how much better Travis Powell become at writing compelling vocal lines. Lines like the questioning “have you ever felt so lonely that all you have lives in the past?” come across masterfully over the thinner textures of the verse, and the chorus has a great sense of direction and just the right kind of non-pop hook. The drumming is on-point, and the bass sits perfectly in the mix to give a really full sound and lots to enjoy on the low end. The intro of “Supply and Command” continues that rich sound, while the track as a whole shows off even more variety, with instrument elements reminiscent of how a less over-the-top version of Zelliack might sound. Culprit’s always been a band with interesting guitar parts, and that strength shines through here with dynamic shifts in rhythm and tone providing great atmospheres for Powell’s vocals, particularly the wonderful falsetto. There’s plenty of strong lyricism throughout, and the themes of worry and anxiousness that are more fleshed out in the next song really start to come forward in this track. I loved the bridge and atmospheric elements of “Knock on the Sky” when I reviewed it before, and those remain among my favorite parts of Totem today. This is the song that made me really look forward to hearing more from Culprit, and it’s definitely near the top of everything they’ve released. Be sure to check out the band’s recent video for the song, as it captures the perfect visual aesthetic to match the sonic exploration found within these seven tracks. If you’re going to listen to one song from Totem, make this that song. If you’re going to listen to two songs from Totem, make it “Knock on the Sky” and “No More.” Channeling the soul of acts like Squid the Whale, the track has a slower pace, warmer overall tone, and winding, meandering guitar and vocal lines that allow for a more natural feel. It’s a little different from the other songs the band has put out, but it’s executed in just the right way and is definitely great as a counterpoint to the preceding track. The closing instrumental section of “No More” serves as the perfect transition into “Bodies Divided,” which brings to mind the more delicate moments of From Indian Lakes‘ Able Bodies. This is the sort of song that proves how well these guys can play with and manipulate different textures to achieve the greatest effect. While it might not be the overall strongest track they’ve released (even as good as it is), it’s certainly of the type that makes you excited to hear how the band will put those skills to use in the future. “We’re to Blame,” on the other hand, doesn’t quite reach the same heights as the other songs on Totem. A kind of blend between “Supply and Command” and “Bodies Divided,” it fails to find the same level of interest that those two are able to. Even though the second half is much stronger than the first, the track as a whole is the weakest you’ll find on this EP. “Piece of Eden” closes out the set with mysterious, dark atmospheric guitar lines – only appropriate for a song with lyrics inspired by Assassin’s Creed. The chorus is among the best the band has written, and the line “I’ve forgotten more than you’ll ever know” will get stuck in your head. The bridge changes the dynamic wonderfully, bringing the energy level way down before a final chorus propels everything forward one last time. If you’re into spacey, progressive indie rock that maintains direction without restricting itself, you’re sure to find plenty to love here. While the release is not without its flaws, Totem is a strong second entry in the band’s discography, and it should help accelerate the group’s growth as one of the best young acts in today’s scene. In terms of sheer potential, Culprit has everything you could want in terms of talent, creativity, and aesthetic. The growth from Analogue is clearly evident, and the number of different textures and sounds on this EP shows that there’s quite a bit of sonic landscape this quartet’s eager to explore. Even if this doesn’t fall as one of the best releases of the year, it’s always exciting to see bands doing things this interesting and combining a wide range of influences to create something truly unique that they can entirely own. Culprit is on its way to doing big things, so don’t be surprised when you see them garnering massive support in the near future. It’s only inevitable when a group of guys is this talented this early on. - See more at: - Mind Equals Blown

"Single Premiere: Culprit, “Totem”"

SoCal rock quartet Culprit are exclusively streaming their new EP opener and title track "Totem" on AltPress. Produced by Dryw Owens (From Indian Lakes, Consider The Thief) and Erik Ron (I The Mighty, Panic! At The Disco, VersaEmerge), Totem will be released in August on Easy Killer Records & Apparel, making it the follow-up to 2011’s Analogue and 2012's single, "Knock On The Sky."

Speaking on the meaning of Totem, vocalist Travis Powell said, “In the movie Inception, the characters use objects referred to as ‘totems’ to keep them grounded within their dreams. Music is my totem, it’s what keeps me from losing sight on what is important.” Guitarist Brian Fulda added, “We are able to understand each other a lot better as people because of this writing process, and the time it took to reach that point was essential, even if it took us a little over two years to complete. I think recording with Dryw Owens only furthered this level of comfort and understanding.”

Pre-orders will launch next week via the label. A music video and record release show can be expected to follow. Head below to stream the single. - Alternative Press

"Culprit: Totem"

It was hard, but I tore myself away from Katy Perry’s “Roar” last night and this morning to continue my listening session with Culprit. What can I say, I was raised on TRL and I’m a sucker for a pop song (that’s a working title of one of the chapters in my memoir). Anyways, Culprit never ceases to be anything less than manicured and poised when it comes to their style of rock. That’s the truth and that’s what you can find on their latest Totem.

They sound like they’ve been at it longer than Carson Daly’s been pimping pop (last one, I promise). Each track was like a calming rock bath. It was never too much, but at the same time it was fulfilling. “Knock on the Sky,” which we heard months ago, finally got a home next to “No More” and “Pieces of Eden,” both of which reminded me of Hoobastank’s radio friendly ways. If I had to go with a winner though, it’d have to be “Totem.” That’s the lightest one on the record and hello, sucker over here.

If you’re into bands like Back Pocket Memory and Currents, then please do yourself a solid and check out Culprit. They’re a band I’m proud to say is from California, so no more of that “the west coast gave us nothing after Blink” talk. We have a lot to offer, so pick up Totem when it drops August 20th on Easy Killer Records…Wait that sounds familiar. Oh yes, Darkhorse. Don’t forget their label mates are dropping their record the same day. - Golden Mixtape

"Culprit Stream Title Track "Totem""

Culprit have released the title track of Totem. Stream it below after the jump. - Property of Zack

"Interview: Culprit"

Recently our writer, Nathan Cornell talked with Travis Powell, the lead singer of Los Angeles based indie-rock band, Culprit about their recent released, what’s in store for the band and many more. Check out the interview below!

How long have all of you been playing music? As a band and just in general.
The current Culprit lineup has been together for 2 years, and we’ve been building on our identity as a band for about 3 years now, but I started Culprit back in the summer of 2006 after a short tour with one of my old bands, Fetterline. I met some like-minded dudes on that tour, and we quit our bands and started Culprit.

Who are some of your favourite bands you’ve gotten to play with?
Happy Body Slow Brain is my absolute favorite band we’ve played with. Getting to spend 3 weeks hanging with those dudes, watching them play every night, it was a very humbling experience. Great dudes and musicians. Back Pocket Memory and I The Mighty are some of my favorite musicians as well, we’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by such great dudes.

Tell us about the recording process. Where did you record Totem? Who produced it? Did your producer have a heavy influence on how the songs came out or did he just provide a little bit of general guidance?
We did the first two songs in the spring of 2012 with Erik Ron, who also produced our last record, Analogue. Erik played a part in the development of our band, so it was an easy, comfortable process. We recorded the rest ofTotem this spring in Sacramento with Dryw Owens, which was a new experience for us. In the past, when we recorded Analogue with Erik, we were in the studio in between our daily lives, basically on nights and weekends. Erik really worked with us in between all the other projects he was doing at the time, and we were able to create the record without taking too much time away from our daily routine. Recording with Dryw was different in the sense that we had to take a vacation as a band, away from all distractions, and focus on creating our record. It was very refreshing.

What was the writing process for this record like? Was it different than past work?
It was different, definitely. This was our first record with Brian as a writer, so our process changed a bit. We write our songs in a live-practice setting, rather than tracking demos, which a lot of bands do. We pride ourselves as a great live-band, which I believe is a result of our writing process.

You guys have a very cool sound. It’s great mix of hard hitting heaviness and beautiful melody. Who are some your biggest music influences and inspirations?
Bands like Thrice, TREOS, Circa Survive, & As Cities Burn influence my writing heavily. I get a lot of vocal ideas from R&B stuff too, I’ve been jammin’ on The Weeknd and Justin Timberlake’s new records lately as well. I enjoy very dynamic music, which translates into our writing.

Travis, you have an impressive range and great control over your voice. Have you had any sort of professional training?
Back in 2009 I took a semester-long course at College of The Canyons called Pop Vocal Development. It taught me breathing, proper warm-up techniques, and what to stay away from before performing. That really helped broaden my range and build my stamina.

How has the response to Totem been?
We got a lot of really good feedback from Totem so far. Releasing a record is one of the most rewarding/nerve-wracking experiences. We got quite a handful preorders for the record which was really awesome, and our release show at The House of Blues in Hollywood went off better than any of us could have imagined. Totem was also well reviewed, we got some awesome comparisons to Circa Survive, As Tall As Lions, and Armor For Sleep from both and, as well as a glowing review from Idobi Radio. It’s been a very humbling experience.

Is there a message you want to convey with your music and specifically the new album?
Totem is a reference to the movie Inception, in which a “totem” is an object that one uses to differentiate between the dream world and the flesh-and-blood world we live in. We took the term “totem” to a much larger scale – Music is our totem. It’s the one single thing that keeps us grounded, that fills our world with color.

What’s next for Culprit?
We’re playing a holiday show in mid-December with our buds in The Material, Stanley & The Search & Barely Blind at The House Of Blues in Hollywood, as well as a short Northeast US tour right after the new year. We’ll be playing a few dates with The Venetia Fair & The Soviet. It’ll be our first time on the east coast, and Brian’s first homecoming shows, we’re really looking forward to it. - Into The Crowd

"Premiere: Culprit, “Knock On The Sky”"

Check out this premiere of Culprit's new single, "Knock On The Sky." The LA-based band worked with producer Erik Ron (VersaEmerge, I The Mighty, Panic! At The Disco) as they have in the past. - Alternative Press

"Guest Blog: Brian Fulda of Culprit"

I can almost guarantee that none of you will know my name, so let me begin by introducing myself. My name is Brian and I play guitar in a band called Culprit, based in the greater Los Angeles area. If you had walked up to me one year ago and told me that I’d be playing in a touring band in southern California, I wouldn’t have believed you. My life has been completely redrawn in the past twelve months. It’s as if I had taken an etch-a-sketch and created a work of art – and then violently shook it empty – only to carefully engrave something that truly pleased my eye. I’m originally an “east coast kid,” born in New Jersey and then raised in the Keystone State.

Like many, I learned to play guitar in high school, and had my share of embarrassing local bands. College life soon crept up on me, and hindered my addiction to playing guitar. Dorm life made it difficult to practice, and homework every night made it even harder. One night at 5 AM, in the midst of a snowstorm at this upstate New York school, I called my dad and told him I had realized my dream. I wasn’t referring to the kind of dream you have at night. I confessed that it was my deepest desire to wake up in a van, playing a new city every night on tour. I could hear the skepticism through the phone, but he knew I meant it, and he supported me anyway.

A few months later, in early January of last year, I packed up my things and left college for a ton of small reasons that anyone over 30 might raise their brow at. After moving back home to Pennsylvania, miserable but feeling free, I put up an optimistic post on Basically, I stated I was a dedicated guitarist who was looking for a local touring band to play in, and I posted a song I had wrote and recorded to go along with it. I had a few nibbles in the first week from bands, but none of them were really what I was looking for, and weren’t as dedicated as I wanted to be.

I woke up one day in February and checked my e-mail to find a message from a guy named Nate. We volleyed some e-mails and eventually some phone calls, and before I knew it I was invited to audition for this great sounding band that he manages. Only problem was that it was far from local. Jobless, unproductive, and still a fresh college dropout, I said “why not” and withdrew my last $400.00 from my bank account and bought a plane ticket. I flew across the country for four days in March of 2011 with my backpack full of clothes and the only electric guitar I owned in my hand. I got to know the guys in Culprit somewhat well.

Another month slipped by, and I was getting anxious. I had gone over the idea of playing in a touring band in California at least a thousand times by now, but I was becoming nervous that they didn’t like me enough to play for them. In the middle of April, I got the phone call that would change my life. Badly in need of some kind of direction, I weighed out the pros and cons with my friends and family, and then humbly accepted.

After a summer of working 45 hour weeks and buying a car, along with the essential new gear I would need to do this right, my “move date” came. On September 1st, I embarked on a cross country drive with a good friend in my passenger seat. We wove our way through thousands of miles of empty plains and national parks until eventually reaching Los Angeles. It’s honestly been the most thrilling year of my life. After getting up to speed on the songs, everything smoothed out. I played my first show with Culprit at The Viper Room in Hollywood, we went on a southwest US tour with Happy Body Slow Brain and The Paper Melody for three weeks in November, headlined The Roxy last month, and we even just finished recording a couple of songs that I’ve contributed a lot of my own songwriting on.

Life has been anything but easy since joining Culprit. Going from the free living of my parents house to living on my own in the real world, supporting myself in an expensive metropolitan area, 3,000 miles from everything I know has been rough, to say the least. But this love for playing music just seems to hop the hurdles I am facing and has kept me happy all of this time. If there’s any sort of food for thought I’d like you to gain from reading this, it would be how important it is to try and realize your dreams and pursue them. Stop making excuses. You aren’t too old, you aren’t too young, you aren’t too busy already, you aren’t tied down by your significant other, you aren’t your parents puppet, and you certainly aren’t incapable of achieving what you want. Sometimes, a leap of faith is just what we need. If you just close your eyes and take that giant step out over the ledge of the unknown, even knowing that you may fall, you might find that when you put your momentum into something, it just might catch you on the other side. - Stitched Sound

"ABSOLUTExclusive: Culprit EP Premiere"

In case you've got a case of the Monday's, Culprit should fix that right up. Produced by Dryw Owens (From Indian Lakes) and Erik Ron (I, The Mighty) Culprit's new EP, Totem, is uniquely energetic, melodic, ambient at times, and overall an ambitious entry into an already promising career. That's why we're happy to premiere it today. Fans of Envy on the Coast, Armor for Sleep and early As Tall As Lions shouldn't sleep on this. So stream it in the replies, read our review and of course, if you enjoy the album be sure to pick up a copy starting tomorrow, August 20th, via Easy Killer Records. - AbsolutePunk

"Analogue EP"

Culprit has emerged as one of the rising young stars in the Los Angeles melodic hardcore scene, with their unique mix of strong, impassioned vocals and spacey, energetic instrumentals. Many of the songs on the Analogue EP feature extremely memorable choruses and instrumentals separating them from the rest of the pack. The band’s new EP begins with “Siren,” and the space-rock delayed guitar riffs, provided by the team of lead guitarist/backing vocalist Mayauel Garavito and lead vocalist/guitarist Travis Powell, whose voice bares similarity to that of Ryan Hunter from North Korea and ex-Envy on the Coast. The rhythm section drives the song, comprised of the thumping bass line provided by Zach Blumenfeld and dance-provoking drum beat from Jason Michalski. The “woah” sing-along in the chorus isn’t something that is terribly unique, like the rest of the band’s song-structures, but it works for them and proves to be catchy. As well as any band that uses a plethora of effects, the production is a key aspect of the album and Erik Ron (Panic! At the Disco, Foxy Shazam, Four Year Strong) handles the task admirably, giving the album a glossy sound without compromising the band’s talent. “Strangers” begins with a bouncy bass line from Blumenfeld and a muted guitar line from Garavito that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Angels & Airwaves record. Powell also showcases his extremely talented voice, using his falsetto sparingly and effortlessly. The band’s sound is extremely good, as it takes the talented, space-rock instrumentals but ditches the indulgence typically associated with that style and mixes it with melodic, catchy vocals, giving them a technical and catchy sound. The band has a knack for writing huge choruses with gigantic hooks that will surely get fans excited at shows. The track ends with a heavy hitting instrumental passage, highlighted by the drum work of Michalski. Guitar and bass riffs start off “Decimals & Fractions,” recalling the sound of the recently deceased As Tall As Lions, with Culprit perhaps inheriting the void that has been left since ATAL disbanded. Powell’s voice even bears some similarity to ATAL’s singer Dan Nigro. Every time the band launches into the instrumental breakdown of the song, which occurs about ¾ of the way through “Decimals & Fractions,” they benefit from knowing when to reel themselves in, showing off their skills long enough to amaze listeners but not too long to the point of boredom. With the band building their fan base, live shows will prove to be extremely important for spreading the word. If their live show contains half the energy heard on the record, they will have no problem with the task. “Redeemer” begins differently than most of the previous tracks on the record, with an intro featuring only singing, in an almost choir-like fashion. If this album had one star, it would be Powell, whose voice can easily stand among the likes of Nigro, Hunter and the vocalists of the never-to-be-forgotten The Receiving End of Sirens. He has not only an extremely gifted voice, but also the knowledge of when to reel it in and mesh with the band, as well as go full force and belt out the high notes. “Redeemer” is my personal favorite track from the album and recommended for anyone who likes any of the previously mentioned bands. If word spreads about this band, which they definitely deserve, it isn’t hard to imagine them as a headlining band, as their catchiness and aptitude is tough to ignore. The EP ends with “Curves,” which is one of the slower-paced songs on the album, with Powell utilizing his falsetto nearly exclusively and tenderly in the first verse. The drums from Michalski also keep the listener’s attention, refusing to ever release it. The chorus is just a gigantic as the other tracks on the album, only to be elevated even higher by the tremolo-picked riff from Garavito at its conclusion. The song retains its energy until the end of the song, when the album ends with one of its few restrained moments. With Culprit’s young age and building fan base, the band is sure to be an up-and-comer that listeners will start to hear about more and more. With Analogue EP’s release just a week away, the band should be touring in the summer. If they come to your local venue, do yourself a favor and check them out. They are definitely unique amidst the growing number of copy-cats currently overpopulating the scene. - See more at: - Mind Equals Blown

"Review of Culprit- Analogue"

Culprit is a melodic hardcore band who released an impressive EP entitled Analogue this last April. They combine the energy of post-hardcore with the melodicism of British-rock to create a sound that is strong, catchy, and beautiful.

According to bass player Zach Blumenfeld, “Analogue means the encompassment of a being. This EP encompasses Culprit at this time, a good representation of everything our sound is” There are only five tracks on the EP, but it does show a great representation of their sound, and will hopefully lead to a full length album in the near future. The EP tends to have an ambient sound to it, and helped by producer Erik Ron, (Foxy Shazam, Panic! At the Disco) the songs achieve the emotions and energy that they are meant to have. The first track on the EP, "Siren" is catchy and could play well on the radio, and the rest of the album follows suit, with generally melodic songs with catchy hooks. My favorite tracks on Analogue are "Strangers" and "Curves" which are slower songs, but have big choruses. Probably the best thing about Culprit is the vocals of Travis Powell, who is truly gifted. While their sound isn't completely unique, they are a band that is definitely headed towards great things. The album can be listened to on Facebook, Myspace and PureVolume, and of course is for sale through iTunes (currently only $4.95).

The band is based in the Los Angeles area, and has been building a huge fan base in their home state by playing up and down the California coast with bands like Everclear and Hawthorne Heights. Currently the band is on tour with dates out west, but I have been told that the band will be adding dates and touring in our area early next year. When they come through our area definitely check them out. - Examiner

"Interview with Culprit"

Culprit are an up-and-coming rock act from Los Angeles, CA. With their latest EP, 'Analogue,' the band blends the energy of post-hardcore with catchy melodies and effects.
Rock Edition talked with vocalist Travis Powell and bassist Zach Blumenfeld a week before the release of their new effort. Check out what the guys had to say below.
Your new EP, 'Analogue,' is due out in a few days. It must be nice to finally get it out there.
Travis Powell: Yeah, it's been a long time coming. We pretty much finished our first session in the beginning of 2010 in January. We've been sitting on this material for a while. We finished the production in October or November. We've been doing all the steps to get it out. I feel like Christmas is next week.
Did you start writing the material for the EP in January too?
Travis: Well, we wrote about half the record prior to heading into the studio. Then, we recorded half the record and wrote more songs to support the songs we already had.
You worked with Erik Ron on this new release. Did he produce, engineer, and mix everything?
Zach Blumenfeld: He did everything -- all that good stuff. [laughs]
I hope you got a nice deal.
Travis: He's actually one of our buddies. He used to be in bands that played in our area. We already kind of knew him.
Zach: We further developed our relationship with him. He's now become an even better friend of ours.
It seems like more and more producers need to know how to engineer and mix nowadays.
Travis: He was an engineer for a long time for John Feldmann. That's where he got his foot in the door. Actually, he worked with another producer before that. He did a couple Sparta records. He just kind of developed himself over the years by working under these bigger named producers. I don't know if we were the first, but we were one of the first few bands that he decided to produce.
Did you have the general concept for the album down before really getting into the mess of recording?
Travis: He had us do pre-production, which we've never done in the way he had us do it. We actually plugged everything in and did a live recording. We went through the songs we had already written and he gave us his notes and had us try a few different things -- minor things. That step helped us create how the songs are now.
Tell us about the new single "Siren."
Travis: It's about a relationship. I guess the easiest way to explain it would be between a male and a female. It references The Odyssey, and how the Sirens' song will lead you astray. It's pretty much about a shifty woman, you know what I mean? [laughs]
Is this based on a particular female that you all know? [laughs]
Travis: I mean... [laughs]

That's a yes! You guys released a stop motion-style music video for it, right?
Travis: Yeah, one afternoon on a Sunday our buddy Ian Flanigan basically came and hung out with us. We went to the bar and drank Bloody Marys all day and just had a good ol' time. We finished up the shoot a few days later. It took about an hour to finish it up.
So he went around taking pictures of you guys all day?
Travis: He would shoot bursts of photos. On that one Sunday, I think he took 3,500 pictures. He's done a stop motion video before and we were blown away by it, so we asked him to do one for us. I'm not really sure how he went about it. Ian's a very special guy. [laughs]
Coming up, the band has a record release show on April 19. I noticed that The Material will be playing the show. I think they're from LA, too.
Travis: They're actually from San Diego. We've been playing in the same circles of bands for about 4 years. We know those guys pretty well.
Have you guys played the Whisky a Go Go before?
Travis: No, it'll be our first time.
Tour-wise the band has some sporadic dates, correct?
Travis: Yeah, pretty much. We're going to do a tour in July. I'm not sure the exact dates. Everything is still in the works, but we've been talking to another band about going out with them.
Can you explain to us where the EP's title came from?
Travis: The meaning of the word "analogue" with the "u" and "e" at the end is like a definition -- a defining statement of something. I feel like this record is the definition of us this far. It's an all encompassing representation of what we're about.
Anything else in the works?
Travis: We're constantly writing. We've got about three songs worked out and I have a good song and a half in my head already. We're kind of always working on it. - Rock Edition

"Culprit: Analogue EP Review"

If you’re looking for an indie rock sound, Culprit has it going on. Recently, Culprit put out an EP called Analogue and it sure is going to leave you wanting more.

Culprit’s new EP has a very distinct tone and theme that most people can’t miss. It captures the essence of indie rock. To start the EP off, you hear the eerie introduction of “Siren.” It entices you to the song and the sound calls attention to it. With the indie rock beats mixed with Travis Powell’s powerful vocals, “Siren” is a great way to introduce Culprit’s sound to any type of audience.

When “Siren” ends, there is a nice transition to the next song “Strangers.” Jack Michalkis, on drums, gives the album fluidity and not many bands can achieve this in their transitions on albums. Along with drums, the bass, played by Zach Blumenfeld, gives “Strangers” an added edge to the sound. It’s a fantastic combination that shows Culprit’s innovation of rhythms.

Culprit ends Analogue with “Curves.” It starts off with a guitar riff from Mayauel Garavito. The riff strengthens the song’s raw and authentic lyrics of letting go. The hard hitting beats and the strong, emotional voice given by Powell makes “Curves” one of the better songs on the EP. The strongest songs out of Analogue would have to be “Decimals & Fractions.” It displays Powell’s vocality, which can range from grunge to a falsetto. It’s unique. When the pre-chorus kicks in, the clapping in the background gives the song a playful yet dynamic tone. “Decimals & Fractions” ends with a fade away of the intro and that just ties the song all together like a great present.

Analogue can sound different from Culprit’s previous EPs as far as sound, but it showcases each member’s talent and hard work. Make sure to grab it!

Check them out: - Lyrically Speaking


Six months from now, you’re going to seriously regret not being at Chain Reaction last Sunday. In a showcase of California’s best young offerings, the small venue hosted four bands on the verge of being scene staples, headlined by Sacramento’s A Lot Like Birds and their latest addition, ex-Dance Gavin Dance vocalist Kurt Travis. With support from friends I The Mighty and SoCal’s own Culprit and I Am Cassettes, anyone smart enough to attend the show left understanding why I consider each band to be on the cusp of stardom.
Any band drawing comparisons to The Receiving End Of Sirens and Envy On The Coast has some serious shoes to fill. Fortunately, Los Angeles’ Culprit is more than up to the task. Playing every song off their new EP, Analogue, the band showed their knack for writing catchy transitions into big choruses in front of the intimate crowd. Whether it was the midtempo “Decimals & Fractions” or their single, “Sirens,” each song hit hard, perfectly emulating their album versions. Vocalist/guitarist Travis Powell is a legitimate star in the making; his fantastic tone is offset by gorgeous falsettos and a strong rasp, giving his melodies the texture needed to differentiate himself from other scene vocalists.
Ontario’s own I Am Cassettes followed next. Playing a set decidedly heavier than the lighter acoustic tunes that comprised their Lovers & Liars EP, the band showed promise, but not nearly the polish of their cohorts. It was clear from the beginning of their set that vocalist Josh Paschke and bassist Kevin Garcia are the focal points; Paschke has long been one of Riverside County’s best kept secrets, while Garcia showed incredibly technicality throughout each track. Despite the talent, the guitars could have been louder and more defined, as they lacked a signature sound or any memorable riffs or licks. Drummer Darren Garcia’s backing vocals were a pleasant surprise, supplementing Paschke’s well in near frontman-quality. Songs like “The Exit” show that the pieces are there, though it will take
Though I The Mighty was completely new to me, their recent signing with Equal Vision Records was completely justified by their set. Showing as much Circa Survive as Say Anything, the band’s unique style comes as a welcome addition to an often drab scene. Despite only promoting the single “Cutting Room Floor,” the audience rocked out to the music as if they’ve been owned the songs their whole life. Keeping the theme of the night going, the lead vocals and harmonies from Brent Walsh and Chris Hinkely were top notch. After they left the stage, I mentally noted their upcoming album Karma Never Sleeps as one of my most-anticipated this fall.
Ah, the headliner. Despite a catalog consisting of one EP (with an entirely different roster) and one leaked demo, plenty of people came out to see what A Lot Like Birds had in store. Armed with new vocalist Kurt Travis, the band played a set of largely new songs, including said demo “Tantrum (Far From The Tree, The Apple Grew Rotten).” Describing the band’s new style is near impossible; with four instrumentalists and two vocalists, the band proceeded to play a chaotically awesome set. If any Plan B track displayed any hint of what is to come, it’s “When The Wolf Is Counting Sheep,” with swift pace changes into big riffs and killer screams. Travis and vocal partner Cory Lockwood demanded your attention at all times, whether through trading cleans and screams or subtle harmonies. The complexity of the instrumentals were outrageous, constantly changing speeds and tones in a way that begs for repeated listenings. It should come as no surprise that A Lot Like Birds is still my favorite to save post-hardcore, and I anxiously await the chance to hear more.
- See more at: - Mind Equals Blown


Analogue (EP) - Released 04/20/11
Produced by Erik Ron

1. Siren
2. Strangers
3. Decimals & Fractions
4. Redeemer
5. Curves

Totem (EP) - Released 08/20/13
Easy Killer Records / Produced by Dryw Owens

1. Totem
2. Supply & Command
3. Knock on the Sky
4. Bodies Divided
5. No More
6. We're to Blame
7. Piece of Eden



Longevity has become a rare commodity in music. Singles are released, bands get big, and people forget. LA’s Culprit has given fans of rock music several reasons to remember – be it the soaring and endless range of Travis Powell’s vocal abilities, or the silk-ridden guitar work of Brian Fulda. The band has given the true advocates of music a reason to continue listening. Emotion – ambience – and a rhythm section more or less aligned with the stars.

The 4-piece outfit HQ’d in Los Angeles received an unprecedented amount of acclaim on their 2011 debut EP Analogue, produced by the perpetually rising star of a producer Erik Ron (Panic! At the Disco, I the Mighty, Foxy Shazam). gave the 5-song release an impressive 8/10, but more notably compared Culprit to arguably the most influential band in the realm of ambient rock. Patrick Haynes raved, “…recalling the sound of the recently deceased As Tall As Lions, with Culprit perhaps inheriting the void that has been left since ATAL disbanded.” The release not only helped propel the band to national recognition, but also landed them on lengthy regional stretches with bands like Happy Body Slow Brain (former Taking Back Sunday), Dance Gavin Dance, I the Mighty, and A Lot Like Birds over the course of ‘11/’12.

After extensive regional touring and a van-ransom incident in Portland, the band headed back into Grey Area Studios in North Hollywood to complete their new single “Knock on the Sky” – the first track written with Pennsylvania transplant-guitarist Brian Fulda, who had relocated from East to West in September of 2011 to join Culprit full time (post Analogue). “Knock on the Sky” quickly saw the light of day in its summer premiere at, where veteran listeners quickly renewed their love for the band, and new ones flooded their social pages with feedback and praise. “There are certain subtle synth pieces reminiscent of Armor For Sleep's What To Do When You're Dead album that mesh perfectly with the driving force and aggression throughout the rest of the track,” said on “Knock.”

Band Members