The strange, foggy prog of Mangoo’s second full-length album (and Small Stone debut), Neverland, is absorbingly complex, and a mere cursory listen would do it a great injustice. You need to remove your foil hat and step right into its tractor beam of ray gun fuzz and analog synth to experience what really lay beyond the flashing lights, and that’s some seriously heavy hooks and rowdy raunch n’ roll. Neverland is a blacktop spaceship running on intergalactic gasoline, driven by Finnish men in silver jumpsuits who know how to have a good time, even if it’s a totally weird one. Mangoo are the past and future all at once, neanderthals at a laser show, like Sasquatch playing 2112, but they make it sound so good, cohesive, and natural that you could put this one on at any point in space and time it would make total sense. While dominated by a cosmic-psych vibe introduced on the title track, Neverland does have some monumental brassy moments (“Deathmint”) and a quick hit of banjo (“Home”), but it’s the way songs like “Diamond in the Rough,” “You,” “Lose Yourself,” “You, Robot,” and “Moom” come together with the force of five meteors colliding that really defines this one. It mellows out near the end with wall melters “Painted Black” and “Hooks” before dropping one of the most epic closers I’ve heard in a long time, “Datzun”. It may take two or three listens to sort it all out, but Neverland eventually probes that sweet spot.
Listen to “You, Robot” from Neverland!
Posted by Jeff on Mar 11 2012 in Reviews Tags: 2112, analog, banjo, blacktop, brassy, cosmic, Datzun, Deathmint, Diamond in the Rough, Finland, foggy, force, future, fuzz, gasoline, heavy, Home, hooks, intergalactic, laser, Lose Yourself, Mangoo, mellow, melt, meteor, Moom, neanderthal, Neverland, Painted Black, probe, prog, psych, raunch, ray gun, rock n' roll, rowdy, Sasquatch, Small Stone, space, spaceship, strange, synth, weird, You, You Robot