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Nice Beaver - On Dry Land CD (album) cover


Nice Beaver

Eclectic Prog

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4 stars Hard one to compare with any one else, Nice Beavers sound is very non British prog. Saying that it does have vague hints of Floyd/Genesis and U.S. AOR bands of the 80's. The use of street sounds in the intro's to a couple of tracks works really well.

The music itself is tight and at times complex, but very well balanced. The more often I listen to it the more it appeals to me. If the next offering is as good as this one, then I for one will be happy enough to buy it. But guys what kind of a name is Nice Beaver? for a band without any women in it!

Report this review (#24306)
Posted Saturday, January 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars Beavers on dry land?

What a surprise! A nearly unknown dutch group with all qualities you guess. This is their first release from 2002. The vocals by Erik Groenweg are remarkable and unique - drums and bass playing very dynamic and powerful. 'Culley on Bleecker Street' starts with typical street sound samples and then developes to an excellent rock song with much variety and changing speed. 'Oversight' appears in the same vein with very good guitar work. 'Wintersong' is dominated by a simple riff - a confusing mix of psychedelic and hard rock. You are celebrating a rock party? Highly recommmended in this case: 'Hope you don't mind', 'Like this' and 'We are the sun'.

Conclusion: more than 50 exciting minutes of dutch progressive rock.

Report this review (#85169)
Posted Sunday, July 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An excellent modern Dutch prog band,who were formed in 1997 in Papendrecht,a small city near Rotterdam.NICE BEAVER was the result of the collaboration between two local bands' members (named ''Scotty!'' and ''For cryin out loud''),in that way Hans Gerritse (guitars/vocals, later to form ''King Eider''), Erik Groeneweg (keyboards/vocals), Ferry Zonneveld (drums) and Peter Stel were found on the same band.In 1999 they recorded a 5-song demo,released on their indepedent No Beaver Label and two years later ''On dry land'' sees the light,re-issued on Cyclops a year later.

''On dty land'' is actually a mixed bag of influences,however it works extremely well with the band managing to produce some fine and accesible progressive rock with a few complicated themes.The best comparison would propably be a blending of heavy RUSH-like prog,melodic musicianship in the vein of CAMEL with strong doses of neo progressive rock related to the sound of CLIFFHANGER or EDGON HEATH.Surprisingly for their accesible chosen style,most of the tracks are quite long (7 to 9 minutes).The fantastic guitar work is the main factor here with Gerritse delivering energetic playing, magnificent solos and typical rockin' grooves,which alternate all the time.Keyboards range from atmospheric synths to vintage organ sounds (include please plenty of inspiring solos),while the vocal work is outstanding!Some of you will be reminded of non-prog singers like NEIL YOUNG,but believe me,this vocal formula fits complementary to the musicianship.Hints of KING CRIMSON in their most complex moments and QUEEN in the pompier parts add a different colour every now and then,making every minute in ''On dry land'' flowing so nice and easy.

This is pure art/progressive rock at its best and NICE BEAVER proove to be more than an imaginative and skillful band.First class progressive music for serious music ears!

Report this review (#221175)
Posted Sunday, June 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars 3,5 stars, really. I was impressed enough by Nive Beaver´s second CD Oregon, to go looking for their debut and see if it was as powerful. Fortunatly my hopes were fullfilled. This dutch quartet´s first release called On Dry Land is almost as good as its follow up. Like that album their sound is very hard to compare, being influenced by soul, funk and hard rock as much as symphonic prog of the 70´s. The music is never predictable, with time signatures and shifting moods while the funky bass, the soulful vocals and bluesy guitar all blend to make a very interesting and unique result. A curious mix of Genensis and Traffic, if such a thing could happen.

Anyway, the CD is very good. The more I hear the more I like it and certainly those guys have the knack for writing memorable, fine tunes with one foot in the early 70´s prog rock field.. The production on the other hand is very modern and clear. There are no fillers and all the musicians are very competent. A very interesring album by a very interesting band. If you´re a lover of the early 70´sprog rock or want to hear something different drm today´s run of mill prog, this is surely a good pick. Recommended.

Report this review (#243881)
Posted Saturday, October 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars Well these Dutchmen do have a sense of humour. They took their band name from a line in the first "Naked Gun" movie. The lyrics and the music are more serious though. These guys have plenty of chops with a great vocalist, and i've really enjoyed this album a lot. The bass is noteworthy, I mean it's the most dominant instrument most of the time.

"Culley On Bleeker Street" opens with the sounds you would hear on a downtown New York City street. See the album cover for the visual. You hear horns, jackhammers, sirens and the sound of traffic. The music builds and kicks in around 1 1/2 minutes. The bass is massive ! It settles after 2 minutes with mellotron-like sounds and fat bass lines. Vocals come in. The tempo picks back up before 3 minutes as contrasts continue. The guitar is excellent 5 1/2 minutes in. "Oversight" is one of my favs with that line "Could it be it's an oversight ?" repeated on and off throughout. It opens with keyboards and check out the killer bass. Good contrasts in this one too. I like the guitar that grinds away 3 1/2 minutes in. "Wintersong" is my favourite. I can so relate to the lyrics even though were just in Fall now, I know very well how i'll be dreaming of Summer in a couple of months. The line "I'd sell my soul for summer" is a line many of us Canadians have at least thought of (haha). The guitar comes in quikly and dominates. Great sound ! Almost spoken vocals to open as bass and drums come in. Passionate vocals 3 1/2 minutes in. So moving. An absolutely incredible tune.

"Hope You Don't Mind" opens with some atmosphere as reserved vocals come in. Drums and a fuller sound before 2 1/2 minutes. It kicks in heavily before 4 minutes. Nice. The organ is great 6 1/2 minutes in as vocals stop. "Like This" has a good heavy beat to open and it kicks in around a minute.The bass is digging deep then the vocals come in before 1 1/2 minutes. Themes are repeated. The guitar takes off after 4 1/2 minutes. "Where The River Runs" really puts the focus on this amazing vocalist. A nice lush backdrop here as well. It's fuller on the chorus.The guitar makes some noise before 6 minutes and goes on and on as the drums pound away. Nice. "We Are The Sun" has some really good contrasts throughout. More huge bass lines here. Some tasteful guitar 2 1/2 minutes in.

For me this is an easy 4 stars. A pleasant surprise.

Report this review (#246408)
Posted Monday, October 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
3 stars This is a great name for a band (apparently taken from a joke in 'Naked Gun'), and 'On Dry Land' is the debut album from the Dutch proggers. All of the four-piece sing, and this is an album that is mixing together styles from bands such as Timothy Pure and Spock's Beard together with Rush and possible even Kansas. "Culley on Bleeker Street" starts off with the sounds of traffic in New York and I was convinced that this album came from that side of the pond. There are sections within the songs that are stunningly intricate, while maintaining a very heavy edge, that show that this band have real talent. Yep, there's a 'but' coming. Having heard the opener I was convinced that I was hearing a great album, but that hope was dashed with "Oversight". There are large bits of this song that are wonderful, but the repetitive chorus just grates, and I found that my initial enthusiasm was waning. It wasn't brought back to life with "Wintersong", which I am sure was being deliberately depressing, but again I had problems with the chorus.

The frustrating thing for me is that they can be very good indeed, and some of the songs are superb. They can combine emotion and musical ability with sensitivity and hooks that keep the tunes buoyant. "Hope You Don't Mind" has a lot going for it with strong vocals and guitars, and a brilliant break in the middle of the song with a total shift in direction. I know that other reviewers have given the album unqualified praise but for me it is "good, (sometimes great), but could be better". Visit the interesting band site at or Cyclops at www.gft-

Originally appeared in Feedback #69, Aug 02

Report this review (#978037)
Posted Friday, June 14, 2013 | Review Permalink

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