When I received Neverlanded’s debut EP, I was immediately sold on the title. Who couldn’t love an EP called Fluffy Unicorns United by a band named Neverlanded? It seemed filled with endless happy possibilities wrapped in a ball of pink fluffiness, despite Neverlanded being a grunge-rock band. Hey, grunge can be pink and fluffy! Well, not so much it seems. After hearing the first track, the fluffiness of the unicorns wasn’t so united.
I’ll admit, any grunge fan can appreciate the interweaving of bass, drums and guitar to accentuate Pete Bloom’s gruff vocals. The EP begins with the well-crafted ‘Brainsane’. I am a particular fan of the prominent bass in certain parts of the track; however, it is ruined with the insertion of a guitar solo that just seems obscure. When I first heard it, I immediately closed any other browser tabs I had open thinking perhaps music was playing from elsewhere. I’m sure the London-based trio have their reasons for the movement, but, for me, it ruins the song.
‘This Friend Of Mine’ saves the album, and is a personal favourite on the EP. It may be because it is the most laid back track, but considering Neverlanded focuses on issues of mental health I’m not sure ‘laid back’ is the best term. Let’s say, it’s not as rushed as the preceding ‘Scream 4 Ice Cream’ or following ‘MesS.O.S’. A clarity is given to all instruments in ‘This Friend Of Mine’, but the drumming and vocals are far more precise – a pleasant change from the other brash tracks. Pete also demonstrates the power of his voice by holding notes for longer making it far more emotional.
Fluffy Unicorns United F.u.U is a short EP only ten minutes in length, with careful placement of four tracks. Ending with the high-speed ‘SOS’ is genius, particularly since the song stops rather abruptly. It’s a case of ‘that’s it, we’re finished, take what you will from this but we’re done’.
Overall, Neverlanded’s Fluffy Unicorns United F.u.U. is a good album. It is well thought out, brilliantly structured (even though it is only four tracks), and performed by a highly talented trio. Would I purchase the album? Probably not. What I would do is pay to see the band perform live! After listening to Neverlanded, I have no doubt that they must be phenomenal onstage!
Oh, by the way. Neverlanded’s EP is a charity release where payment is made via donation to Mermaids UK. Mermaids is a charity supporting gender-diverse and transgender children, so it’s really worth a look. You can view their work using this link.