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Guided By Voices

Crystal Nuns Cathedral

    The mighty Guided By Voices are set to unleash upon the world their 35th and quite possibly…best album, Crystal Nuns Cathedral. How do they do it you might ask? Well we have no idea how they do it, but we certainly do know why they do it. They do it because quite honestly we need them to do it. The world needs The Rock, and we need loud guitars, we need anthemic songs, we need a reason to raise a rock fist in the air and give a “Hell Yeah”! On Crystal Nuns Cathedral, the band delivers all of this and so much more.

    Just four months since It’s Not Them. It Couldn’t Be Them. It Is Them!, comes this latest, twelve songs determined to challenge for the title of greatest Guided by Voices album of all-time. Hyperbole you say? Not this time. The guitars are bigger, the arrangements are more ambitious, the songs are uplifting, epic, and as incredibly hook-laden as always!

    Pure power pop perfection like lead single “Excited Ones” mix perfectly with the slow burning “Climbing A Ramp,” which reaches its climax on a stunning guitar lead before dissolving into the fist pumping anthem “Never Mind the List,” which serves as the beating heart of the entire album. Do you still need convincing? Listen to the one-two punch of “Forced to Sea” and “Huddled” and marvel at the epic scope and vision of an incredible band on full display.

    This record is a statement, a challenge, a monument, a call to arms. Top this one if you can, this is the new benchmark. Who will best it? Who will try? Listen to Crystal Nuns Cathedral, and report back to us. We will be eagerly waiting.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: THIRTY FIVE albums later, and Pollard & co are sounding at possibly their most incendiary for years. It's a bold and raucous collection, punctuated with moments of levity and wry humour, and absolutely jam-packed with the riffs and psychedelic progressions we all know and love from this musical institution.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Eye City
    2. Re-Develop
    3. Climbing A Ramp
    4. Never Mind The List
    5. Birds In The Pipe
    6. Come North Together
    7. Forced To Sea
    8. Huddled
    9. Excited Ones
    10. Eyes Of Your Doctor
    11. Mad River Man
    12. Crystal Nuns Cathedral

    Cub Scout Bowling Pins

    Clang Clang Ho

      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!

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Magic Taxi
      2. Flip Flop World
      3. Casino Hair Wife
      4. Ride My Earthmobile
      5. Schoolmaster Bones
      6. Eggs, Mother?
      7. Strange Walk Home
      8. Nova Mona
      9. The Telegraph Hill Gazette
      10. Everybody Loves A Baboon
      11. © 1 2 3
      12. Sister Slam Dance
      13. It’s Marbles
      14. Space Invader
      15. Human Car
      16. Competitor
      17. She Cannot Know
      18. We
      19. Roll Up Your Nose
      20. What Crawls Also Flies Over


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