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The Mowgli's

Sound the Drum

The Collective CA

If I hadn't read the press stuff, I'd guess this was a kid-oriented band. The Mowgli's sound is incredibly fresh faced, their playing is melodic, and the vocals have a clean-shirt-and-clip-on-bow-tie appeal that even your mom couldn't turn down. Their online presence is pervasive but not horribly helpful; all I know is there are seven members and they come from South Cali. Beyond that I draw a blank, so I'll just focus on the songs they sent me from Sound the Drum.

I'll retract my opening line; "Gamblers Hell" isn't terribly kid friendly and "Slowly, Slowly" offers to send B of A to hell and as good parents we only tell kids about hell when we want them to clean their rooms or write thank you notes to elderly aunts in Minneapolis. But "Ca$h," now that's a bouncy tune about meeting someone new, but your typical 8-year-old wouldn't catch that on the first or tenth spin. While Mowgli's songs are generally traditional rock songs, their large ensemble allows a layered, complex sound. I don't hear any really weird instruments, but the vocals take a new tack on harmony, and you're ready to stick it out with them even on songs you don't like, just to see where this band can take them. Of all the "indie" bands I've heard over the years, this is the one that equates indie" with "new and creative" rather than "new and just like all the other indie bands on Bandcamp." Strongly recommended.

The Mowgil's: myspace.com/themowglisband thecollectiveca.com