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NICE BEAVER

Eclectic Prog • Netherlands


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Nice Beaver biography
A Dutch progrock band that was founded in '97 with this line-up: Hans Gerritse (guitar), Ferry Zonneveld (drums), Peter Stel (bass guitar) and Erik Groeneweg (lead vocals and keyboards). All are experienced musicians, they played in several pop - and rockbands. In 2001 NICE BEAVER (slang for 'pussy') released their debut-album "On Dry Land", it got a positive review in Muziekkrant Oor, the most famous Dutch music magazine. The catchy and melodic music is rock with progressive tendencies (hints from CAMEL and RUSH).

The first album contains pleasant rock with beautiful melodies and a lot of variation. Most of the seven compositions are carried by strong and alternating guitarwork (from sensitive like Andy Latimer to harder-edged like Alex Lifeson) and distinctive, quite dramatic vocals. NICE BEAVER doesn't make mainstream progrock or neo progrock, it sounds more like an original, tasteful stew of rock, pop, new wave and progrock. I wonder or it will appeal to the 'conservative symfomaniac' but for sure this is another promising, new Dutch band with lots of good and fresh ideas.

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OregonOregon
Import
Cyclops Records 2008
Audio CD$22.29
$10.49 (used)
On Dry LandOn Dry Land
Import
Cyclops Records 2008
Audio CD$72.17
$47.12 (used)
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NICE BEAVER discography


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NICE BEAVER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.63 | 19 ratings
On Dry Land
2002
3.67 | 19 ratings
Oregon
2004

NICE BEAVER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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NICE BEAVER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo
1999

NICE BEAVER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 On Dry Land by NICE BEAVER album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.63 | 19 ratings

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On Dry Land
Nice Beaver Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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 www.nicebeaver.nl or Cyclops at www.gft- cylcops.co.uk

Originally appeared in Feedback #69, Aug 02

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 Oregon  by NICE BEAVER album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.67 | 19 ratings

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Oregon
Nice Beaver Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars You can't go wrong with either of NICE BEAVER's studio albums. While I do prefer the debut it really is a toss up as both are excellent.This the second effort is more mature sounding, more serious but there's no doubt it's the same band. Fred Trafton ("GEPR") says the guitar frequently reminded him of RUSH, which reminded me of this 30 something guy coming in the store while this was playing and asking me if I was listening to RUSH. I had to tell him "No, it's NICE BEAVER (haha)". He wrote down their name. I didn't think he would need to (haha).

"Nights In Armour" is dark to open with strange sounds. Some atmosphere here as the marching style drums with synths roll in. It's building. A full sound before 2 1/2 minutes sounds like CAMEL, riffs follow. Then the CAMEL-like guitar led section returns. It settles before 4 1/2 minutes with some nice bass and keys. It kicks back in before 6 minutes, mellotron follows. Vocals for the first time after 7 minutes with violin.Themes are then repeated. "Morphine" opens with the sound of crickets. Percussion joins in before the music kicks in around a minute. Great sound 1 1/2 minutes as it turns powerful. Vocals before 2 1/2 minutes, mellotron a minute later as it settles some. Contrasts continue. "Any Other Day" is more relaxed as vocals come in with light drums and bass. It gets fuller. Contrasts continue. Mellotron 2 1/2 minutes in with some nice guitar to follow. "Oregon" has this heavy intro with background synths. Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes as it settles. Contrasts continue. The tempo picks up 3 minutes in. Great sound !

"The Beaver State" sounds like 80's FLOYD with the atmosphere and guitar. It kicks in before 3 minutes then settles back as contrasts continue. Huge bass 4 minutes in. "Two Brides For Two Brothers" is dark with reserved vocals, background synths and a beat. Tasteful guitar 2 minutes in. Spoken words 4 minutes in. It settles after 7 minutes. More spoken words after 10 minutes. "Love On Arrival" opens with synths as percussion and vocals join in. Riffs with chunky bass come and go. Then it kicks in. Nice. Great sound after 4 minutes. "Lawn Mower's Day Off" opens with reserved vocals and a relaxed sound. It's fuller 1 1/2 minutes in. I like the emotional vocal cry before 4 1/2 minutes.The tempo picks up. It sounds like aboe after 6 minutes. Piano too. Waves crash over and over 9 minutes in to the end.

Not as fun or uplifting as the debut but I like this an awful lot.

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 On Dry Land by NICE BEAVER album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.63 | 19 ratings

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On Dry Land
Nice Beaver Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 On Dry Land by NICE BEAVER album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.63 | 19 ratings

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On Dry Land
Nice Beaver Eclectic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Oregon  by NICE BEAVER album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.67 | 19 ratings

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Oregon
Nice Beaver Eclectic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A dutch band with a name like this and an album bearing the name of an american state could be either a joke or something very different. And different it is. This quartet is up for something very original, although the elements that make up their sound are quite familar. Well, not too familiar to progheads, maybe, since they draw their inspiration from sources that are not often related to prog music nowadays. But the result is very good even if a bit demanding to the listener. It is complex, varied and very, very well crafted.

One of the things that put them apart are the vocals. There are two singers and one of them has a very soulful voice that sounds a bit like that american vocalist Michael McDonald. It gives a different approach to the songs that work very well once you get used to. The other one is the guitar style of Hans Gerritse, owing it more to Eric Clapton or to Jeff Beck than to Hackett or Akkerman. And the instrumental parts have a strong influence of what is called here ´heavy prog´, of the early 70´s (meaning that soul, blues and hard rock are included), besides more ´traditional´ prog, jazz and even some arab and flamenco overtones. Not to mention a modern touch here and there. Eclectic indeed!

All in all I found this CD to be very, very good. There are no fillers and the songs qualities varies from very good to excellent (even if I did not really think it was a good idea to start the record with Nights In Armour). Production is perfect for this style. It might take a few spins to fully appreciate this record, but it is worth the efford. I hope this band will release another record soon. If you like that kind of prog rock with some strong blues influence done in those golden days of the early 70´s try Oregon. It is one of the most surprising CDs I heard in a long time. Four stars.

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 Oregon  by NICE BEAVER album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.67 | 19 ratings

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Oregon
Nice Beaver Eclectic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Nice Beaver can also mean a nice animal which take care not to send tonnes of liters of muddy water through your kitchen........ and not necessary the female reproduction organs.

Oregon is full of hard working beavers who work 24 hours a day on their dams. Their work is very good for the environment. Trouts and other species of freshwater fish relies on beavers to survive. It is nice that this Dutch band really makes us aware of that. In Holland, they have spent tens of billions of dollars on building dams after the disaster in 1953 which flooded the country and killed thousands of people. If they had let loose the beavers in Holland, a couple of human lives would had been spared. I guess the engineers in Holland studied the work before they undertook the great work in actually creating a country - Holland- back in the 1960s. Most of Holland is below the ocean, hence the second name of this country; The Netherlands.

That was today's tutorial from a dedicated member of The Dull Men Club. Now, celebrate that I have cured your insomnia. You will sleep well tonight, dreaming about beavers and dams. Beavers and dams. Hands and gloves. Holland. Eclectic Prog. ZZZZZZZZZ.......

Nice Beaver is an interesting band from Holland and this,their second album, is actually pretty good. This album starts with a symphonic prog track called Nights In Armour. This track comes across as a blend of Genesis, Manning and Riverside. The rest of the album takes up the Riverside link more than the Genesis link. The sound is very contemporary with no references to the 1970s. The guitars is more metal-riff based than melodic. There are some Dream Theater over this album too. Radiohead also springs to mind. They have been compared to Rush too. I agree, although they are more Saga than Rush. Porcupine Tree, Tears For Fears, A-Ha and The Flower Kings springs to mind too. In other words; Eclectic Prog.

Nice Beaver most definate have their own style with one foot in the pop/rock scene (Tears For Fears & A-Ha) and the other foot somewhere in the prog rock land. The music is full of small details and based on keyboards and guitars. Although some of the tracks does not hit home, I find this music very interesting.The band knows what they are doing and their sound is very good. It is just about exctracting the last 10 % and they would create a masterpiece. They are so close to become great. At the moment; they are an almost-great band. Please release another album, Nice Beaver. My review of this album will put you to sleep, but the album itself will wake you up, ready to build big dams.

3.75 stars

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 On Dry Land by NICE BEAVER album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.63 | 19 ratings

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On Dry Land
Nice Beaver Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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!

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 Oregon  by NICE BEAVER album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.67 | 19 ratings

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Oregon
Nice Beaver Eclectic Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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

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 On Dry Land by NICE BEAVER album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.63 | 19 ratings

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On Dry Land
Nice Beaver Eclectic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & 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.

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 Oregon  by NICE BEAVER album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.67 | 19 ratings

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Oregon
Nice Beaver Eclectic Prog

Review by Blademan

4 stars Oregon is the second album from Nice Beaver and is a great listen with some very inventive music. The first track Nights in Armour has a Camel like influence at the beginning before heavier riffs remind me of Rush at times, all in all a great opener. The albums other excellent tracks for me are Oregon with a catchy chorus and varied sections, and the Beaver State an instrumental with some superb guitar in the style of Andy Latimer or even Dave Gilmour this track is just about my favourite. My only (slight) criticism is that the vocals are not quite up there in the same class as the music but nevertheless are by no means poor. Overall this is an excellent release with no weak tracks and I would recommend it to anybody into symphonic rock with a harder edge, this music will I'm sure come across even better live.

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