Monday, August 27, 2018

Review of The Mowgli's' "I Was Starting to Wonder"

Where is my head at? Posted this Sunday afternoon on the Sputnik Music website (where it received perhaps the stupidest comment I've ever seen), and forgot to post it here. But better late than never. To quote the great James Tiberius Kirk, "Here it comes."

Review Summary: More happy vibes and good times from this gentle California sextet.

The Mowgli's don't get a lot of love on Sputnik Music. This is unfortunate, because I think they have something to offer, namely happy music and good feelings. They're currently operating as a 6-piece band (at one time, they had as many as ten members), and as best I can tell, they were recently dropped by their record label. None of this has done anything to dampen their cheerfulness, though. They're still an upbeat Los Angeles band with a San Francisco hippy vibe. 

I Was Starting to Wonder is their latest EP. It features four songs, two of which were previously released as singles. The general atmosphere here is mostly one of relaxed jubilation. Two of the songs, "I Feel Good About This" and "Real Good Life", share similar sentiments. They're both about happy love relationships that seem to be working for all involved. In between these two are "Kansas City", a song where lead singer Colin Louis Dieden sings about missing his home town (especially as he's recently come to realize that even though he's moved away, he still has the same old issues to work through) and "Best of Us", the one song here about a relationship that might not be the healthiest (although it's too soon to tell). This last one is the least interesting of the album's four songs.

The Mowgli's' sound is nothing new here. As on their previous work, it's driven by multi-person (including both male and female) vocals and jangly guitars. They're like a mixture of The Cowsills, Len and Grouplove.

I realize accept that this isn't the deepest band around, and that their carefree tendencies and simplistic lyrics bother some people. I like a bit of darkness in music myself, and I wouldn't want for every band to sound like them. On the other hand, not all music needs to make you want to kill yourself either. I think there's room in music for both bleakness and frivolity. 

The bottom line is this -- if you've always hated this band, this EP won't make you like them any better. There's nothing groundbreaking here, and their basic sound is the same as it's always been. But if you've liked their previous work, you'll like this too. I have, and I do.

Rating: 3 of 5 stars