Scorpions, Hidden Hand, Nebula
Tough to take a band named Mangoo seriously, yet our editors forged forward and gave this one many a listen. Surprisingly, we were able to complete our due diligence with the Finnish band’s second album. After the intro, we are led in with the self titled track, "Neverland", featuring brooding bass work and creeping swirling guitars, a so-so opener. Unfortunately, this is the second best tune on the album. The distant straining vocals on this song fit perfectly, provides a bit of Bon Scott on acid blended with a little Chris Cornell. The next tune, "Deathmint" starts to pick up the pace and features a nice build to a crescendo of old Cornell-like belching. Next up, "Diamond in the Rough" an absolute turn for the worse. This tune is way out of place and gets us scratching our heads, almost has a slapstick goofy feel to it... skip!
Unfortunately, the next tune "You" follows a similar pattern, way overexposing the lead singer, Pickles... yes Pickles, which contains a variety of flaws. "You Robot" gets things back on track with a great midstream guitar jam providing some Josh Homme sentiments and the vocals are fitting with more of a distant sound. "Painted Black" while integrating some cool acoustics and screeching guitars, does get us cringing again with the weak vocals. The last track "Datzun" is probably the best track on the album (not too far behind is "Neverland") which contains a great exchange of melodic pure rock psychedelia back and forth licks, somewhat of an upbeat climax to end the album, nicely done.
As a whole, the inconsistencies and overexposure of sub par vocals bring this one down a few notches. We like the efforts, but feel Mangoo tries to be too much trying to hit a bit too many audiences. They should have stuck with the tone and darkness found in the self-titled track.
Standout Track: Datzun