The comeback of the Finnish 5-piece band Mangoo is here and it's called "Neverland". Three years after "Neolithic", Mangoo has taken a new musical path, evolving their style into something more mature if you may. Whilst "Neolithic" was a blend of stoner-based melodies with fuzzy riffs and a noticeable amount of pop references (which made them fairly distinctive), Neverland is a set-off towards a more psychedelic era.
After a short intro, the self titled track is an introduction to their newborn identity. A marriage between good old psychedelic rock and beloved heavy riff with a few progressive touches, clearly states that Mangoo has something new to share. The third track is a mere apocalypse and allow me to say the top moment of the album. "Deathmint" is a wonderful tune with heavy ass riffs, taking its time to climax into a liberating vocal outburst and a redempting dramatic crescendo.
Those two little fellas held me captivated for an hour and a half before I decided to move on to the lunatic "Diamond In The Rough". I guess this is what you would get if you put Uriah Heep and Queen in a studio and then just let them go crazy. Heavy on the keyboards with an out of the blue, very Queen-like acapella treat towards the end, "Diamond In The Rough" is a 70's anthem mixing progressive influences with some fat stoner riffs. So their unique pop sound hasn't disappeared, it has just been genuisly camouflaged jumping on you in the least expected way.
The following "You", could be described as a badass love song, a dark ballad where Pickles' strong distinctive vocals are leading the way. Oh and let's not forget the guitar solos hand on hand with the spacey keyboards... "You" with the later on "Pointed Black" comprise the sentimental part of the album. Whereas "You" remains faithful to stoner kind, "Painted Black" goes into a whole new level. It's fair enough to say that Wasp's "Idol" would sound something like that if it was recorded today. An 80's inspired classic ballad vaccinated with a generous dose of heaviness, gives Mangoo the opportunity to show their skills' width both vocally and musically.
Between these two we find 5 completely dissimilar musically tunes. "Lose Yourself" a classic stoner rock song that contains QOTSA-like riffs. "You Robot" that starts off spacey in order to become a heavy and fuzzy 4 minute track with a brilliantly covered - but still there - usage of the keyboards. Following comes "Moom" short, fast and furious suitable for every respectable rock party, as you have heavy metal and fuzzy riffs all in a glorious punk package.
"Hooks" on the other hand comes right after "Painted Black" and is a perfect example of how versatile Mangoo can be. A different kind of ballad, low tempo, deeply bluesy and satisfying, miles away from the other two previously spoken of, ballads in the album. Which leads us to "Home"... I have to say "Diamond In A Rough" and "Home" are the two least expected songs in Neverland and in a way the release wouldn't just be the album that is without them. But man if "Diamond In The Rough" is a big lunatic, "Home" stands out in the album as mad as a hatter! An untouched 30's southern country song landed in the middle of the album. Mangoo have successfully trolled us and what a sweet trolling that is! Last but not least the album offers us closure with "Datzun" a whole 10 minute outsanding mixture of heavy fuzzy riffs and psyched out keyboards. You could say that it is Neverland's most Neolithic-like track, showing Mangoo's transaction between their two releases.
Neverland is given to us by "Small Stone Records". The production serves the album well without being too polished. It clearly demonstrates a more psyched turn to their orientation that doesn't hold back their dirty fury. It has songs that differ essentially in tone giving us a great whole. And of course one does not simply speak of Mangoo without mentioning Pickle's vocals, a stong vital instrument of its own, with unlimited hights and depths. It leads the way in each and every track and this album has given him the opportunity to show us what he is capable of. Tremendous vocals Neverland has to offer us; full of anger, despair or warmth. This album is fresh start for Mangoo, a step I'm glad they've taken. They have evolved, going on a heavier route, tracing new paths reaching to Neverland. All in all an album that waits to be explored having something well hidden to reveal every time.
Written by Maria
04. Diamond in the Rough
06. Lose Yourself
08. You, Robot
10. Painted Black
For physical needs: Small Stone Records