Cost of Attrition – There You Go
Wheeler Castaneda and Joshua Grow, vocals and instruments respectively, are Cost of Attrition. The Indianapolis based twosome play a mixed but coherent sound with pop/rock, metal, and electronica tendencies. Their focus here falls largely in the pop/rock and metal spectrum, but it’s never handled with club-footed obviousness. Their songs aren’t full of high flown subject matter, but they have intelligent and dramatic construction that brings listeners immediately into their musical experience. Their debut EP There You Go has three immensely likeable songs with irrepressible energy and Castaneda’s performances each time out help the band to own these tracks in a way few young bands are capable of making happen. There You Go is an action packed, passionate collection of songs that introduces this duo to the larger musical world in the best of all possible lights.
“Not Your Psycho” pops and cracks with considerable musical and lyrical attitude. It has a mid-tempo, swinging rhythm and boisterous hard rock guitars full of brash muscle. Cost of Attrition gives each of the EP’s three songs an immense bottom end that helps sell them further; Grow is a fine guitar player, but his instinct for the foundation these songs need is one of his more remarkable talents. It never misses. Castaneda’s voice has a throaty strain that never sounds like an affectation – he never overdoes it and the emotional tenor it brings to the songs spins them further in an individual direction. The commercial sound on the song “Oh Yeah” never waters down the rough edges of the track and Castaneda ‘s voice hits its peak with this track. The confidence and swagger these first two songs show off is nothing but contagious and it never sounds put on at all. The guitar playing on this song is another high point despite the arrangement creating more space than the opening track.
“There You Go” has a much different side of the band for listeners to hear. The earlier songs are full of energy, but the duo ratchets up the tempo with this cut and it has a more assertive pose than the first songs despite the presence of acoustic guitar. The bass line is very good and another key point of the song. The bright glow coming from this song never comes off as forced. Cost of Attrition are one of those rare bands who can’t help being themselves. The title song varies the sound they lay out in the first two tracks while still remaining instantly identifiable. That’s a trait that many musical units aspire to, but few reach. There You Go is like a small bomb going off in listener’s ears. Each of the three songs blaze like a burst of flame and light up listener’s expectations in unexpected ways. Cost of Attrition does a fine job of revamping long standing musical tropes with flair and freshness that larger combinations aim for and fail to accomplish.
9 out of 10 stars