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Nice Beaver - Oregon CD (album) cover


Nice Beaver


Eclectic Prog

3.60 | 41 ratings

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4 stars Imagine a prog band named Nice Beaver, only the liberal Dutch can come up with such a sexual form of humour (Kind Pussy?) No wonder prostitution is semi-legal in Holland! Now that we got the giggling out of the way, this is another powerful testament to the ever expanding library of good prog emanating from the Netherlands. Their first opus "On Dry Land" had some exceptional moments ("Wintersong") and has been a frequent partner in the CD player ever since. "Oregon" is a definite upgrade , presenting a whistle clean production that is exhilarating. From the first few minutes of the epic opener , the tone is set. This band has been wrongly categorized as a Camel clone only due to the quieter moments but the majority of the arrangements are harder edged , cooking with volcanic fury. A slight arabic motif (Violins and flutes) almost evokes the Tea Party, with a crunching main theme bleeding into a spectral guitar flight , courtesy of Hans Gerritse. "Morphine", as the title implies , is a brutal, lugubrious venom-spitting rant , more anger than metal , against the ravages of drug abuse , dripping with rage and sarcasm. The anthemic "Any Other Day" is just s great song with a catchy chorus and nailed down with a wicked lead eruption full of bluesy balls. The title track evokes an almost Traffic-like feel , replete with a rolling chorus, Winwoodesque vocals , clean guitar soloing and a well-centered rythm section. Erik Groeneweg sets down an array of lush keyboard textures, elevating the angst to explosive heights. Power prog at its finest. "The Beaver State" (Oregon's monicker) is a hand on Pink Floyd's shoulder, a sobbing bluesy lead conductor with an obvious Gilmour- Santana-Mario Millo tone, an instrumental highlight with a torrid incantation , pounding beat and untamed abandon. "Two Brothers" begins with a surprising twist , the 5 note alien greeting in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (I was wondering when that would show up in a prog recording! ) and then evolves into a profound atmospheric lament with the spirit of Latimer clearly expressed in Gerritse's lyrical playing. Hushed hypnotic vocals are transported on a keyboard cloud of silky synths.A 10 minute bliss ride . A little Crimsonoid intermezzo releases a return to some more delightful sounds. "Love on Arrival" is another scorcher, an incandescent ember raging qualmless and indignant! Yeah! And how best to finish off the experience than a final killer epic, with hints of PTRee , a 10 minute + workout offering a deep and rich chorus , fully evocative of the marrow of their craft, with a little oboe ditty just to keep it special. This is a poignant and satisfying hour of deep, heavy prog with staying power. Very Gouda! 4.5 stars
tszirmay | 4/5 |


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