After listening to 'Neverland' during the last weeks, I have concluded that I need to check out their debut album 'Neolithic', because I find it pretty enjoyable what Finland's MANGOO has to offer here. Released by Small Stone Records in 2012, 'Neverland' is a refreshing take on riff-driven heavy rock which is saturated with fuzz. This is due firstly to the fact that MANGOO doesn't follow well-trodden paths. Here you will find some progressive leanings as well as keyboards that are perfectly interwoven with huge riffs, adding a nice psychedelic effect to MANGOO's pop-infected heaviness and atmospheric depth.
In this context, particular mention should be made of vocalist Pickles who ensures that the songs become more colorful. Although there are a few moments where he tends to overdo it, his entire emotionally charged performance suits the songs so well. They are so to speak the notorious icing on the top of an already good cake. Moreover, 'Neverland' remains exciting throughout its complete playing time of almost 61 minutes. 'Diamond In The Rough' sounds partly as if Tony McPhee (Groundhogs) had joined X-Ray Spex whereas 'Painted Black' is more symphonic and recalls the days of 1970's hard prog, without imitating that kind of sound.
MANGOO is no backward looking band. Of course, there are a some influences from the 1970's, but 'Neverland' is a modern sounding album. One of the best songs is 'Hooks' which is probably the perfect example for MANGOO's talent of combining the old with the new. Only the wonderful cover artwork, done by Alexander von Wieding, could have been from 1972 and it seems like a reminiscence to that period. So, I am pretty sure MANGOO will make new friends with 'Neverland'. They deserve it.