This year, it seems like Small Stone Records is digging in the back of my memory banks and pulling out and signed bands I’ve known but haven’t given much of the time of day. Case in point, Mangoo is a Finnish fuzz/stoner/psychedelic/pop rock band that formed in 2005 that I discovered back in ’09/’10 and had long since forgotten and destined to be lost in the sea of countless bands I’ve come across until they were picked up. With the signing, they have found a new home, ready to release their second full-length album, Neverland.
The album’s sound is unique, and that’s probably putting it lightly. There may be other bands like them, but I haven’t come across them yet. Their sound has a base of stoner rock that’s soaked in 70s classic and prog rock for a start (think Rush, Yes, and maybe some Boston), giving their sound a nice space and psychedelic feel. They also throw in a little bit of a grunge feel with just the right amount of pop feel, especially noticeable in the vocals. The instruments take front and center with the vocals filling out the sound, giving the album a full atmosphere of sound that encompasses you in a thick fog.
By now, you should be getting the picture. The odd mixture of styles have a sort of chemistry that reflects on the musicians that create them. After being around for 7 years, the band is finding their own, having fun in the process, and the end result is a testament to this. Every track on Neverland is oddly powerful, whether it’s a poppish track like “Moom”, more of an epic ballad like “Painted Black”, or a stoner rock track like “Deathmint”. The power of the entire album has a unique draw on you as I’ve noticed with it growing with me more and more as I continue to listen to the album.
The thing that impresses me most about this album is that it’s not forced to rely on any one aspect of their sound; everything on this album is balanced from the psych and prog elements to the fuzzy riffs and the pop hooks. Each element is fully developed. Again, this being attributed to the chemistry the band has and each members’ musicianship.
This is a great heavy rock album that’s bound to please a wide variety of fans. I would expect fans of Dozer, Foo Fighters, Brant Bjork, and classic rock to be the most drawn to the album. The album doesn’t officially hit shelves until later this month (06/26/12), but if you can’t wait for the street date then you can grab a copy off iTunes or buy the CD directly from Small Stone as it’s available for immediate purchase from their online store.