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Culture Vulture — Pedaling Into The Wind

“Started in 2012, the band has settled into an incredibly tight groove. They utilize the characteristics of progressive rock (time changes, modal movement, intricate arrangements), yet their unique instrumentation gives them a tinge of the unexplainable. Drummer Mathew Pelton rolls relentlessly through the sprawling compositions, playing with feel and precision. Guitarist James Webber has impressive control of his syrupy Les Paul tone, and his chord voicings and arpeggios indicate his heavy jazz influence. Nick Gilbert fills out the band on trombone (an atypical instrument in rock), and what he does with it is ingenious. With a small microphone on the bell, he runs the instrument through a series of effects generally used for guitar, and the result is a rich horn section sound, with octaves and various intervals weaving through the music. Any group that can cover Chick Corea and get the audience to crowd surf at the same time is worth paying attention to.”

— Garrett Deming, Hissing Lawns

Culture Vulture is a progressive, instrumental outfit that shreds the old prog trope of complexity over enjoyment. Underestimating the audience’s ability to dance in 7/8 feels wrong though, so Culture Vulture avoids that too. Blending such disparate influences as jazz, math rock, and straight-up pop music combined with eclectic instrumentation sets Culture Vulture apart. Guitar, drums, and trombone, all with processing and effect power make a full sound that spans from wistful dreaminess to metal creaminess. Dancey for the brave, complexity for the analyst, sexy for the depraved. Culture Vulture has existed, in a few different iterations, since 2012. Each member cut their teeth in very different scenes across the country but converged on Savannah to bring it all together in a colloidal mixture of densely packed sound.

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