Thursday, September 20, 2012

Artist Spotlight - Binary Heart

Album Rating: B+
After many years as the defiantly pragmatic drummer for (now defunct) Bomb the Music Industry! (and formally for Long Island's The Arrogant Sons of Bitches), Mike Costa finally set out to make a (sort of) solo record.  I can't help but recall my last (and, let's be real, my only) conversation with the heroically unsung percussionist following a sweltering living room show that gave Flagstaff in mid-July a run for its money.  That "conversation" involved Costa casually dragging on a cigarette while I rambled incessantly about how Scrambles was the sixth best record of all time, oozing fanboy vibes harder than a late 90's preteen with Ricky Martin backstage passes.  His response - a sidearmed comment about how Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba is so intensely underrated - has been brought to new light in the wake of Quote Unquote Records' and Mike Costa's very own, Binary Heart.

There's something oddly fascinating about how an otherwise insouciant remark from atop a cracked Pittsburgh sidewalk seems to define a record released years after the fact, yet it feels so casually intentional on Splitsville. Just four unassuming tracks have made their way onto the twosome's debut, taking all the right hints from punk's last two decades in the process.  Where Skiba found his coup de maĆ®tre in an embittered howl, Costa relies on a much smoother approach - an effortlessly heartfelt tenor - to convey his stories and misgiving.  Opener "My Last Night in San Francisco" is the product of a Kerouac novel and a pre-2003 Smoking Popes track slugging it out over unhealed old wounds.  The fact that "We Lied in Silence" isn't a bonus track on As the Eternal Cowboy is terrifically shocking.  In a nutshell, Splitsville is the musical mind of Mike Costa finally crawling its way out from behind the drum set.  It's simple, pure and fantastically compact.  It's still trying hard to stomach last night's liquid decisions.  Yet the true magic of Splitsville lies in the fact that Costa's solo endeavors have at long last begun their journey to fruition, after so many years of tragically underrated percussion-management.  That journey is anxiously awaiting its well-deserved entrance into your lonely ear canals - so don't be a boob, ya boob.

Download the EP for free (or donation) here.

Track List:
1. My Last Night in San Francisco
2. The Lucky Ones
3. We Lied In Silence
4. The Choices You Make

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