Cost of Attrition – There You Go
Musical units like this don’t come around too often. The first release from Indianapolis’ Cost of Attrition, a three song EP called There You Go, announces the arrival of a duo who never let lack of membership restrict their talents for writing and recording top notch pop/rock with an edge. The band features the talents of vocalist Wheeler Castaneda and multi-instrumentalist Joshua Grow in a stellar production full of warmth, space for the songs to breathe, and a “live” feel capable of gripping anyone’s attention. Their immediate presence has seen Cost of Attrition appear as an opening act for bands like The Spill Canvas and Unwritten Law; such spots are a sign that the band’s more established peers recognize how different this duo is from typical debut acts. They carry a melodic hard rock sound that encompasses a little from every style variation pioneered over the last thirty plus years. There You Go is a potent brew.
Their dynamic contrasts in the music are apparent from the first. The band writes songs laden with melodic hooks and a strong emotional side, but the music has a hard hitting fury firing up its swing. “Not Your Psycho” has a strongly unique quality thanks to the immediacy of its production and the lyrical content alone, but there’s more. Grow’s work as a one man rhythm section pulverizes the song, but the playing remains artful and never pursues the bash and thud variety of hard rock. Castaneda’s vocals help embody the aforementioned emotional side through the same dynamic contrasts mentioned earlier, albeit in a much different space. Castaneda throws himself full on into every one of the EP’s songs and he seems to give this one just a little more weight thanks to its status as the opener. It makes for a bracing beginning.
“Oh Yeah” has a sharper commercial side, but still pushes with a ton of attitude. They certainly have some retro qualities – there aren’t a lot of other young, modern bands who seemingly understand the value of instinctive swing. Cost of Attrition knows how to put the song first and lock into tight grooves that get these songs over quickly with their audience. It is difficult to imagine how they pull these tracks off in a live setting, but these are tunes built for live performance and are undoubted crowd pleasers.
The title song “There You Go” changes things up by mixing a faster tempo with a largely acoustic instrumental attack. They adjust their production style to accommodate the different texture, but there’s an internal consistency with the preceding two songs that gives the EP impressive unity. Cost of Attrition’s There You Go jumps out to immediate life with the first song and its spirit never dims for even a second throughout the course of the three songs. If Cost of Attrition aims to make a statement, it certainly does so in a way few bands of their ilk manage today.
9 out of 10 stars