My musical journey has been varied. I would like to think I’ve been through just about everything to come to the place I am now. So when I hear an artist that brings that same kind of philosophy to their music, I give them my ear. Strange Culprits is that kind of band. Their self-titled release is packed with elements from every stop they have made. The Bay Area trio should be proud of this pure American rock release.

The album starts with the track Moonlight. The rhythm section thunders and is soon accompanied by great guitar work. Jason Buckingham not only fronts the band with a rangy baritone, but he also is quite the guitar player. The song is like something from a David Lynch film. Chris Isaak meets Queens of the Stone Age telling the story of the impulsive run of love. From track one, Strange Culprits make their mark.

When You’re Away is haunting in the sadness of desperation. Jason sings the telling lyric You make me matter. This one of my favorites from the album. The lyrics are naked and honest. The intro the song is beautiful as it bends to a nineties alt feel.

A nod to the blues follows with Fleeting Moments. Desert rock meets blues. The sound these three are able to accomplish is like nothing around now. The guitar solo is echoing. The only way I can describe this song is like Del Shannon’s “Runaway” meets MCR’s “Ghost of You. Though definitely not emo. Rootless is a great display of Jason’s vocal ability.

Let’s is a beautiful ballad. Featuring great distortion that does not overwhelm. Mija is a soulful song. A great garage rock feel with a little Hendrix sixties to it. The guitar solo swells but to a precise mark. Bless the Harlot and Fades Into bring us to what can only be called a defining song for the album.

Concrete in the Rain bursts into the ear with a synth piano. A sound that diverges from the rest. It is powerful in its melodic step. The guitar cries through the song. It takes me back to my old slow goth rock days. This song screams for attention.

Strange Culprits won me over with this album. Even in the songs I didn’t care for, I respected their musicianship and their ability to take risks. I would love to hear these three play live. There is an honesty and a soul to their sound. I look forward to hearing more.



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Extended Plays is an ongoing music series of all the music that I stumble upon. I listen to the music, go with my gut and spill my honest and sometimes brutal opinion all over this blog. I hope you take the time to check out the artists I review for yourselves. I tend to believe that I am always right about everything but the most beautiful thing about music is that my opinion doesn’t matter to anyone but myself.


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