Cost of Attrition - There You Go
There You Go is the three song initial studio release from Indianapolis’ Cost of Attrition. The band is a two-man outfit that pursue a broad-based sound incorporating pop, rock/pop, electronica, and metal with convincing authority. This sort of authority in sound and intent is rare from such a young act, but Cost of Attrition stand out against whatever scale they’re measured by. Wheeler Castaneda’s vocals are quite unlike anyone else working in a hard rock/metal vein while still retaining the necessary attributes to score as a pop singer. The band’s second member, Joshua Grow, is an eye-popping multi-instrumentalist who sounds equally comfortable unleash torrid lead guitar lines as he does laying down sternum rattling drum patterns. Power and feel isn’t the only story here though. Cost of Attrition may only include three songs with their debut, but these are three outstandingly arrangement and intelligent songs with a clear mandate that they easily fulfill.
It’s a mandate being fulfilled from the first seconds of the EP. “Not Your Psycho” begins with a snippet of flash lead guitar but quickly settles into a hard-hitting groove Joshua Grow punctuates with some coherent and undeniably melodic lead guitar. He never goes overboard after that opening and each instrumental break has the sort of measured tastefulness longtime listeners might readily assume with this sort of music. Wheeler Castaneda’s singing is a huge attraction as well. He combines power and feel together in a memorable package and there’s a surprising flood of emotion coming through in every line that makes Cost of Attrition’s songs an entirely different experience than what we are used to with countless young bands. This duo understands how to get these songs under a listener’s skin and aren’t shy about doing so.
The second track “Oh Yeah” has a much more clearly defined commercial slant, but it also has a better defined groove and moves in slinky, melodically unpredictable ways. It has much of the same muscular power we hear in the opener, but the power is applied differently. Castaneda’s singing sounds much more at home with this song than the first one and the way he plays off the rhythm section is particularly pleasing. There’s far less lead guitar playing in this song, but Grow still makes the six string’s impact felt at critical points.
The title song has the same laser focus that makes the first two songs so memorable and enjoyable, but Cost of Attrition spikes the pace some and switches out the electric guitars for acoustic. The results find their mark. Castaneda excels here as he did in the preceding number, perhaps even more so, and he takes full advantage of the song’s melodic opportunities to help fully realize the track’s potential. Cost of Attrition might hail from a superficially unlikely location for this music, but there’s something of the traditional blue collar Midwestern rock ethos in their treatment. There You Go isn’t a put on. Instead, it’s straight-forward from the first and wins over audiences with its earnest approach.
9 out of 10 stars