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Cub Scout Bowling Pins - Clang Clang Ho LP
Cub Scout Bowling Pins hop in the “Magic Taxi”, turn on the AM radio and time travel forty to forty-five years back in time. The project is mysteriously presented, but it’s a thinly-veiled alias of the ridiculously prolific and talented Guided By Voices.
Minus the usual punk and prog influences, there are strong whiffs of bubble gum, psych and soft rock with sugary doses of ornate baroque pop. Long renowned scholars of rock, the Ohio players have occasionally worn their influences on their sleeves, but this time they seemingly have their jackets on inside out.
Perhaps conceptually similar to how GBV went tongue-in-cheek “country” backing Cash Rivers & The Sinners in 2018, but Cub Scout Bowling Pins is a thousand times subtler, like an eccentric cousin of GBV with the craziness knob turned up by 10%. And while Cash Rivers discs trade hands among collectors on Discogs for hundreds of dollars, Cub Scout Bowling Pins’ debut 7-inch Heaven Beats Iowa was recently spotted for sale for no less than $10,000.
On their debut long player, America’s newest hit-makers dip into retro-futuristic weirdness, side-by-side with whimsical sophistication and candy-coated technicolor complexity. In the flip-flop world of Summer 2021, transistor radios will vibrate with the sweet and hooky “We” and “Nova Mona” while “© 1-2-3” will “climb” the “charts”.
“Ride My Earthmobile” spins like an even-more demented 13th Floor Elevators. Is that Jimmy Webb or Lee Hazlewood hidden behind the latest issue of “The Telegraph Hill Gazette”? “Schoolmaster Bones” chortles with a groovy pretzel logic, while “Space Invader” and “Magic Taxi” beckon with jangling guitars, shimmering strings, mellotrons and vintage synths.
Following three critically-lauded GBV albums recorded in quarantine in 2020, is this a light-hearted detour, a midlife crisis or just good clean Pandemic fun? Cub Scout Bowling Pins beg the questions: exactly what drugs are they taking? And where can we get some? Clang Clang Ho!