On I Was A Cub Scout’s MySpace page, there’s a peculiar posting by one of their fans. He complains that one of IWACS’s upcoming gigs is a 15+ affair. Then you look at his photo. Saucer-eyed and photographed with his lower lip caught in mid-quiver, he looks like Bambi in human form.However, if there exists any band that could make this soft-souled child’s life better it’s I Was A Cub Scout. Lincolnshire’s prodigiously young duo manage to harness a warmth rarely encountered on this cold-hearted island. You could call it naïvety, but that would just mark you out as the kind of miserable prick who genuinely needs to hear ‘I Want You To Know That There Is Always Hope’.
It’s impossible to listen to IWACS without thinking of another two-man synth-indie project: American titans The Postal Service. However it’d be unfair to brand them copyists; ‘I Want You To Know…’ has a sound they seem to have come to independently.The likes of ‘Recommendations’ with its line “When you leave this tiny little room/Be aware that I am following you” might skirt dangerously close to the edge of twee, but these small faults are balanced against glorious moments. Take, for instance, the outro of ‘The Hunter’s Daughter’ which combines delicately lain skeins of synth, skeletal guitar, occasionally punctuated by the clarion report of a triumphant trumpet, and Todd Marriott’s soft vowels. It could have been incidental music in The Neverending Story.
There are bands out there happily labouring under the emo label; grown men reflecting upon life with all the emotional honesty of someone whose next pay-cheque relies on making a connection with kohl-coated tweens. IWACS don’t mind the label themselves, because to them it means something else: positive songwriting which makes life that little more liveable.