Is This Song By the Mowgli’s Great or Irritating?

Some members of The Mowgli’s


In pop music, there’s a very fine line between “catchy” and “annoying,” and after several listens, I still can’t decide which side “San Francisco” is on. It’s the breakthrough single by The Mowgli’s, a California rock band that (1) obviously doesn’t know how apostrophes work and (2) seems interested in jumpy, clap-along rock. Take a listen:

I mean… yes. This song is catchy. It makes me tap my foot. But somehow, the hundred-voices-singing-at-once quality of the vocal—all that over-dubbing and group shouting—makes me think of the intro to a sitcom. Like… maybe during the opening credits, the characters are wearing overalls with crazy paint splatters on them while they run around a mall. And we see those goofy characters spraying each other with ketchup in the food court and slapping out a beat on the side of a mannequin at American Eagle, and we think, “Oh, those kids are WILD.”

Do you know what I mean? Maybe that’s just another way of saying the song sounds like a generic good time. Genial, yes, but so instantly over-familiar that I already feel like I’ve heard it too many times.

But then again, it’s been a tiring week and I could be a little cranky. Maybe it’s enough for a song to be catchy in a familiar way.

What do you think? Am I missing something here? Or am I right to think the Mowgli’s are not for me?

Mark Blankenship really, really hates that unnecessary apostrophe in “Mowgli’s.” He tweets as @IAmBlankenship.