The Mowgli’s Waiting For the Dawn Album Review
Fresh on the heels of their absolutely addictive single “San Francisco,” Los Angeles based The Mowgli’s have released their first full-length album Waiting For the Dawn, giving us a chance to see whether they’re a one-hit wonder, or a band built to stand the test of time. Without a doubt, it’s the latter. This album is a masterpiece, and clearly one of the highlights of 2013 thus far. It’s a cool summer groove just overflowing with sweet summer rock ‘n roll gems.
In a refreshing change from much of the music dominating today’s airwaves, The Mowgli’s offer up a host of tracks about love, hope and unity. They’re an octet comprised of five LA childhood friends and three more recent acquaintances from the Midwest. It’s a marriage that works very well.
Waiting For the Dawn is an uplifting collection of lyrics accompanied by fantastic music. Many of the tracks feature Boy/Girl lead vocal trade-offs or animated group gang vocals. It’s one of the reasons the band reminds me of an arranged marriage between Grouplove and Of Monsters and Men; heady stuff as those bands each finished in our Top 5 albums of the year in 2011 and 2102 respectively.
By now you’ve surely heard the zippy “San Francisco.” It’s a clever catchy song that just oozes the essence of summertime (featured in our Songs of Summer 2013). The rest of the album offers up similar sonic pleasures. “The Great Divide” is actually a more hit-worthy selection than “San Francisco.” It’s a more upbeat song with a catchy riff and better lyrics. “Clean Light” is another strong cut; this one dominated by shouts and whistles that will surely leave you reminiscing about the fine music of the aforementioned bands.
There are a few tracks out of their typical comfort zone that work with varied degrees of success, including my favorite track “Time.” It’s the most stripped down song, just a few acoustic guitars and captivating vocals. It starts as a song of desperation, but weaves into a hopeful paean. “I get so down about this world some times. I cannot understand people, no not at all. But I hope to see a change in man, I hope to see us love one another, and I know we can.” Good, good stuff.
The band is comprised of eight members, which lends nicely to their propensity to offer sensational harmonies, the fun gang vocals, and lots of slick musical vignettes. “Leave It Up To Me” features a few nicely placed guitar solos and some sweet melodica. “Emily” is another gift, it’s a subtle musical orgy with so many intricate instrument switches weaving in and out. The album offers up a bit of perfectly placed cello, stand-up bass, mandolin and trombone, and who knows what kinds of percussion. It’s truly a creative masterpiece, and one that is immaculately produced.
Pick it up and give it a listen (linked below), as this one is going to be one of the albums that defines the year.
Help save rock and roll, and follow us on Twitter (trust us, it works)