Review Summary: Fun, Familiar, and Forgettable.
During the hardcore phase of my life, I would do just about anything for "that 'sick' new band". Got breakdowns? Vaguely positive lyrics? Throw in a melodic lead or two and we are set. However, there comes a point after you buy that 12th hardcore album when you realize; this is all beginning to sound the same.
And that is where I found Gideon, a five piece hardcore band Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Give the boys in Gideon some credit though, they do know what they are doing, usually. The put together solid and downright fun distorted riffs, throwing in that open string chug that the tough guys in the pit adore. The occasional use of clean singing vocals is a poor choice, but a forgivable one, as it only appears twice in the 30 minutes that is Costs
Vocalist Daniel McWhorter really does his best not to bore you, which can happen due to his monotone yell that rarely, rarely changes pitch. He will throw in some "aggressive" roars at key moments, such as the breakdown of "Gutcheck". The clean vocals heard throughout Costs
have a nasty way of completely halting the momentum that certain songs have been building (See "Unworthy"). Those pretty and pitch perfect singing sections are really not helping Gideon separate themselves from the crowd, but by the end of the album you begin to realize that perhaps they aren't trying to be different, and are content with blending in.
The comparisons made to The Ghost Inside aren't completely unfounded. Songs such as "Brave New World" and "Gutcheck" come straight out the Ghost Inside playbook. Lyrically, this band never breaks out of the "Christian band on Facedown". Lyrics such as "I see the hurt, I feel the pain. This is what I'm made for. Maybe now you'll understand" on "Virtue" are par for the course on this album. Drummer Jake Smelley apparently only has three settings behind the kit; two-step, follow the breakdown, and fast punk. His fills leave a lot to be desired as well. This lack of creativity isn't entirely his fault however, as there is only so much one can do to support the constant chugging and fast chord strumming of those guitar players.
Right from the get go of the album, you are hit with the "Let this fire burn!" breakdown of "Unworthy", which is a pretty good description of this album; fun, heavy hardcore. This is by no means an awful album, it is just that this exact same sound has been done before, as well as done better. If you are looking for a fun and catchy hardcore album made for moshing, Costs
is for you. Everyone else, keep looking.