Waiting For the Dawn
The California band The Mowgli's have a stated intent to make music that brings joy and that can “change the world for good.” With some seven or eight members at any given time, it was no surprise they planted their little seeds of love in the garden of bands like Grouplove and Edward Sharpe: making huge choruses and swooping, uplifting melodies with plenty of sparkle. With acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, and snapping, lively percussion, the band's love-in feels well-fueled and is inarguably infectious. “San Francisco” blew up before the full-length Mowgli's debut, Waiting for the Dawn, was even issued; the single was helped along thanks to the SF Giants, the game The Sims, and late-night TV. It was clear that alt-rock fans were ready for some serious uplift. With a majority of songs here built on huge layers of shouted lyrics and cartwheeling whimsy, the tunes that offer some respite are memorable. A booming kickdrum, banjo, fiddle, and a melancholy vocal drive “Emily”; “See I’m Alive” breaks into a roaring gallop with a singular vocalist carrying the number with zeal. The creative vocal melodies of “The Great Divide” and “Say It, Just Say It” make the tunes especially satisfying.