March 16, 2005

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Cosades, A Lack of Heroine, 2005

People around Portland, Maine, have been hyping up local alt-rock band Cosades enough to prompt me to check out their debut full length, A Lack of Heroine. Unfortunately, despite some creative riffs and adept musicianship, I’m hard pressed to see what distinguishes the throat-shredding “screamo” hardcore of Cosades from say the Used, Thursday or Story of the Year. If those bands get frequent rotation on your iPod, then Cosades may be right up your alley.

The four young members of Cosades (they’re all under 21) clearly posses a ton of ambition, and it should be noted how tight the group sounds on its first outing. Guitarists Nate Caril and Kyle Gervais (who also does vocals) clearly have labored long and hard to create that perfect, Marshall-sharp, buzzsaw guitar-tone, most evident on power-chord thrashers like “Hearts to Sea” and “Prancin’.” Elsewhere on the record, their guitars revel in Sonic Youth-style high-pitched feedback bliss.

Still, A Lack of Heroine is more slick sounding and radio-ready than Cosades’ Fugazi-lite influences let on. Though according to a recent story in the Portland Phoenix the band members fancy themselves on a musical par with Radiohead or other art-rock groups, the straightforward, fairly succinct song structures of “Eggshell,” and “Circles,” with their shout-along choruses and rather uncomplicated riffs, cause one to wonder if the members of Cosades haven’t confused Radiohead with early Blur. Still, catchy riffs seem to be what Gervais and Caril do best, so perhaps they should drop their egos and play to those strengths.

If anything, A Lack of Heroine is rather rote and mediocre, at times almost painfully so. Gervais’ hoarse, throaty vocals sound like he’s channeling Scott Weiland’s inner emo 15-year-old and angst-ridden lyrics like “It hurts to be alive!” don’t help matters. Certainly Cosades displays potential. Perhaps they just need to grow up a bit. C-

— Adam Marletta