I Was a CubScout - I Want You to Know That There is Always Hope
Record Label: Abeano XL
Release Date: February 18, 2008
There is nothing better than waking up on a rainy morning and putting in a newly received album that you have little to no expectations for. Just knowing you have no responsibilities that day puts you in that mood to accomplish something. Well, today I was in one of those moods when I woke up and decided to welcome some new music into my inventory.
Today’s visitors are I Was a CubScout. This two-piece indie-syth project out of Long Bennington, England knows exactly what it is that they want to do with their music; their debut album, I Want You to Know That There is Always Hope does just what the title suggests. From the opening track “Save Your Wishes,” there's a definite Death Cab for Cutie vibe with beautiful piano pieces sprinkled very fittingly between the vocals from frontman Todd Marriott. On the second track “Echos,” there's that same feel with the song as a whole with a few horn pieces placed towards the bridge. The chorus of the track sounds like a Jimmy Eat World b-side with those classic “oh oh oh oh’s” spread throughout. As the album moves through the next few tracks, you may begin to get a little bored (or possibly tired) with the straight shot direction that each track seems to be taking. There's a different feel from the opening hand claps on “We Were Made to Love,” but the song itself stays within the boundaries of the rest of the album without standing out much. The lone song that does stray away from the course is also the album's best track. "The Hunter's Daughter" is a little bit more fast paced than anything else on I Was a Cub Scouts' debut album, with another lovely horn piece to conclude the song in a wonderful way.
The one thing I really picked up from this album is the atmospheric feel to each and every track. The literal echoes of the keys and syth along with solid drum work by William Bowerman makes an album full of tracks that reminds me of the wet grass and mist I wake up to on those Spring mornings when I take the first steps of the day.
I Was a CubScout give an upfront effort that is above average from the rest of this scene. This is an essential album for anyone who adores this style of music, and rightfully so. The only negative that must be looked at once again is the album's lack of originality. The vocals and lyrics can be borderline cliché and pretentious at times, but overall, I Was a CubScout are definitely worthy of a merit badge.