The diversity on Cost of Attrition’s debut release, a three song EP entitled There You Go, will impress longtime music listeners and casual fans alike. This Indianapolis based duo plays with such confidence and covers the sonic spectrum so completely that it is impossible not to admire their talents. They blend pop, rock, metal, and electronica together in an inspired mix and their instincts for bringing these disparate strains together are unerring. This, in some way, represents a way forward for music – hybrid forms drawing from multiple genres but still retaining the necessary points of reference to remain accessible on a widespread scale. There You Go will satisfy older and younger fans alike. The songwriting has a beautifully individual quality separating it from its peers that’s led them to securing opening slots with national touring acts like The Spill Canvas and Unwritten Law.
Wheeler Castaneda’s singing is one of the prime qualities making these songs stand out. He has blood and grit alike straining through his voice, but it’s a gift he knows how to make use of. It plays against the rambunctious musical sound in a biting and entertaining way. Joshua Grow does a fantastic job on multiple instruments, particularly the rhythm section elements, but the guitar playing has an aggressive and melodic sound that hits hard from the first without ever going overboard. The band sound established on this track swings hard, with almost cock-rock like swagger, but the effect is never cheap or retro. Cost of Attrition’s recordings bristle and glow with fierce inner life. “Oh Yeah” accentuates the groove in an even clearer fashion than the opening track, but Cost of Attrition never forgets to give the music ample room to move and breathe. Castaneda’s singing retains the same emotive bluster that powered the first track. These are tunes aimed, to some extent, at garnering widespread success rather than targeted at a narrow musical market, but they retain a strong sense of identity and use convention in inventive ways. “Oh Yeah” definitely has a marketable sound and likely goes over like mad live in concert, but it also has a freshness born from deep talent rather baser skills.
Cost of Attrition brings together uptempo percussion with strong bass playing and acoustic guitar on the EP’s title song. It shows the duo’s talents in a very different fashion than the earlier two songs, but they tackle this style with every bit of the same skill distinguishing the earlier tracks. “There You Go” is the ideal encapsulation of Cost of Attrition’s presentation in a brief, condensed form. It doesn’t take any short cuts, never plays to lowest common denominators and best of all, gives countless clues to their impressive potential. A young act could scarcely ask for a better debut than this. This is memorable pop rock with many other tendencies arising from the mix and a powerful reminder of what this sort of style is capable of in the right hands.
by Lance Wright