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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.

: : : Erik Neuteboom, The NETHERLANDS : : :
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OregonOregon
Import
Cyclops Records 2008
Audio CD$24.99
$159.99 (used)
On Dry LandOn Dry Land
Import
No Beaver Records
Audio CD$24.99
The Time It TakesThe Time It Takes
Import
Oskar
Audio CD$14.62
$12.99 (used)
Time It TakesTime It Takes
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$19.62
$42.63 (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)

3.61 | 31 ratings
On Dry Land
2002
3.60 | 31 ratings
Oregon
2004
3.99 | 67 ratings
The Time It Takes
2015

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

NICE BEAVER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

4.00 | 1 ratings
Demo
1999

NICE BEAVER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Time It Takes by NICE BEAVER album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.99 | 67 ratings

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The Time It Takes
Nice Beaver Eclectic Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars Nice Beaver's latest album 'The Time It Takes' wound up rapidly arriving into my collection upon its release, due to the fact that I really enjoyed their 2 previous albums and that this long awaited opus had a superbly lush cover photo that immediately placed itself visibly on my CD bookcases. So when my new girlfriend visited my room, she glanced up at the CD and said 'What the hell is Nice Beaver? A porn video?', Well, they are from Holland , I answered trying to explain myself out of this uneasy situation. When I played the CD for her, she relaxed enough to seduce me with her amazing smile and, well you can guess the rest! This tight band from the Netherlands has a certain style that is rather unique, a harder, upfront edge on the bass, a steely guitar disposition that skirts the sublime, a lead vocalist that prefers a huskier voice that fits the music so well, as well as a new drummer who thumps like a strongman. Keyboardist Erik Groeneweg sings in that manly manner while coloring the arrangements with slick organ, piano and synths. The music reflects the current fad in modern society that could very well augur the doomsday scenario Adam and Eve talked about in the garden, a collective and individual sense of apathy and frivolity that bodes poorly for our future. Great subject material, in my opinion.

On raucous , melody drenched 6 minute tunes like 'River so Wide' and the next one, 'In Close Proximity' the crew really bang out thrilling nuggets that have fire, passion and style. Quirky, yet propelled by a monster Peter Stel bass guitar motif, giving axe man Hans Gerritse that solid support to ramble, raunch and raze with justified zeal and tons of emotion. Drummer Corne van Disseldorp beefs it up big time with wide percussive thunder. The melodies are immediately agreeable to the ear and will appeal to a vast troop of prog aficionados. On the second piece, the mighty choir mellotron makes a powerful intro, masking a cool jazzy section that could have been George Benson turning into Jimmy Page, all rocked up by Corne's stunning wallop.

Though expert thunderbirds, their sweeter ballads are equally devastating, such as the delightful 'The Path to My House' fueled by a sensational bass furrow and a smokey vocal that almost hints at David Sylvian, a stunning little ditty that will shock and disturb in a very good way. Needless to repeat, the slick guitar work is exemplary and satisfying, a groaning solo that really hits the spot.

'Timeline' is back to hurricane deliveries, Blackmorian guitar riffs and shrieking licks, the bass guitar pulsing like crazy, while the relentless beat goes on. A slew of famous news samples crowd the arrangement, giving historic perspective as the wah-wah guitar washes the palette, a bouncy chorus that chooses effortless honesty, the blooming fret board solo seeks and destroys like some missile battery. Fast and furious.

The stellar 'Rainbow's End' is the jewel ballad here, perhaps the finest tune penned by the band, crowned as it is by a drop-dead melody and Peter Stel really giving listeners a lesson in slick bass playing. Erik's vocal is ardent and stirring, with unabashed rage and urgency at the forefront, allied to another guitar blow out. Another 6 minutes of absolute bliss, Dutch style. Girlfriend really liked this one a lot! The chorus 'look around' repeated ad infinitum shows both smarts and class. Wow!

The title track aims to highlight the band's current preoccupation with human rot and disconnectivity from reality. The piece is way more moody and brooding, less immediate but still explosive with a shrill synth solo that would make Manfred Mann drool with envy.

'Sound Behind Sound' develops slowly but assuredly, weaving invisible strings of support, injecting some eerie moods into the mix, a mature methodology that works just fine. There is a lot going on here, groovy bass amid the organ swirls allied to a wicked guitar solo once again, it all just fits nicely and explains the rave reviews by some of us writer/reviewers.

Things get very epic and progressive on the final track, the gleaming 'Waiting for the Bell to Toll', a monumental parade of sound and expression, rollicking tempo and organ swells, scattering guitar licks and pummelling beats. Here the quartet really get to unleash their brand of hard prog that has no exact clone anywhere. A serene mid-section with phased guitars introduces the menacing bass once again, as Peter Stel puts down a nasty roll, on which Hans Gerritse uses his wah-wah pedal (underused in prog , sadly) with deft skill, the sun shining through the cluttering clouds. Groeneweg does a neat slippery synth job and the mood really gets molten lava intense.

This is eclectic prog for sure, a Nice Beaver that has balls (actually that sounds pretty perverted but they are Dutch after all!), a ton of sweat and muscle as well as an overall appeal that is totally endearing. The artwork, packaging, pics and production are primo top notch. Find yourself a Nice Beaver and sink your teeth into their delicious pungency, there will be no regrets.

5 Epitaphs

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 The Time It Takes by NICE BEAVER album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.99 | 67 ratings

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The Time It Takes
Nice Beaver Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team

4 stars I am having trouble with this album as each time I hear it my reaction seems to ping pong from liking it to disliking it for the familiarity it evokes in me. The music is very pleasant, it's engaging, and the musicianship and recording are very well done. My problem is the lead singer's similarity to LEVEL 42 lead singer/bassist, Mark King. No, it's more than that. The Mark King similarities bleed over into much more of the music--the bass playing (it's wonderful and very accomplished), and the song structures and stylings also keep taking me back to LEVEL 42 and other bands like THE TANGENT, THE STYLE COUNCIL, JAMES GRANT/LOVE AND MONEY, PHIL COLLINS and other pseudo- or neo-prog bands (all of whom I like very well). I'm more of the type of music listener who likes to be surprised, who likes fresh new sounds and ideas, who likes innovation, originality and bands that "push the envelope" of previously heard and established song styles and sounds. My usual reaction to Neo Prog and what I call "pseudo prog" is usually that none of the above is happening. Don't get me wrong: There is fine musicianship being captured here! And very nice songs with a lot of GENESIS/PHIL COLLINS/SPOCK'S BEARD-like structures and dynamics but, again, like so much of Neo Prog, it's all too polished, too clean, too contrived and somehow lacking emotion or 'soul.' Hence, I just can't give this wonderful, beautiful collection of well-polished songs anything more than four stars. I feel badly but, like most anything I hear of Spock's Beard, Marillion, IQ, The Tangent or The Flower Kings, this rather nice music is rather quickly forgotten and left behind in favor of something . . . fresher . . . and meatier.

Great songs: "Waiting for the Bell to Toll" (11:20) (9/10); "The Path to My House" (4:33) (9/10).

Very good songs: "River So Wide" (6:23) (8/10); "In Close Proximity" (6:27) (8/10); "Sound Behind Sound" (7:37) (8/10).

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 The Time It Takes by NICE BEAVER album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.99 | 67 ratings

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The Time It Takes
Nice Beaver Eclectic Prog

Review by LearsFool

5 stars The time it takes for Nice Beaver to put out a new album seems to have grown exponentially, but so has the quality of the final product. The whole thing just sounds so wonderfully pleasant, a smooth treat for a proghead's ears. I have to say that the bass from Stel is just sublime, every note, every time. The vocals are sweet, and the guitar riffs and wails along, sometimes unleashing power, sometimes beauty. Can't get enough of "The Path To My House" and "Rainbow's End", the pinnacles of the beautiful half of the record's sound. Power prog done right is a good summation of this excellent album. 4.5 rounded up.

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 The Time It Takes by NICE BEAVER album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.99 | 67 ratings

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The Time It Takes
Nice Beaver Eclectic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars Spread the word around ...

... because here we have something special to consider. I was really impressed with their two albums 'On Dry Land' and 'Oregon' years ago. Thus the announcement of a new outcome forced a somewhat gleeful anticipation. What is to expect from a band which offers a new sign of life after more than ten years in hibernation and such a reference? Something between 'okay' and 'setting the world on fire' most likely, as we know it to happen. In this case they really surprise me due to a rather delicious new production, equipped with a well selected title, as those dutch beavers obviously took their time. Going back for some years again .. first and foremost I still would count the debut starter Culley On Bleecker Street among my top favourite songs. Erik Groeneweg's singing voice always deeply touched me, and this does not change here.

Well worth the wait ... if ever ... what convinces me in the first instance is the fact, that 'The Time It Takes' is able to entertain from the start right on to the last minute. Something you have to search for in these days with prog oriented albums produced in really vast numbers. Drummer Corne van Disseldorp acts flawlessly, like a founding member, although he represents the one and only change when it comes to the line up. Stylistically the band offer art rock with symphonic and neo prog touches, as well as some excursions into popular fields, like Rainbow's End for example, while showing them more in the vein of Love And Money or Cutting Crew. Nonetheless I would say this is a benefit, even though some die hard prog fans may disagree.

This simply is applicable for the global flow, for the approach to establish a highly accessible experience. Besides the technical skills taken for granted, everything stands or falls with the song writing abilities - you know - as for that The Path To My House belongs to my favourite album excerpts - absolutely perfect! Whatever, this credit applies to every song more or less which makes it to a rounded affair. Who won't have a clue what's goin' on with this band music-wise ... their output is akin to bands like Syzygy, Lobate Scarp and similiar. By all means you can't do wrong if your preference is on real melodic progressive rock songs. Anyway, happy to know that ...

... the band is back in town!

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 On Dry Land by NICE BEAVER album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.61 | 31 ratings

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On Dry Land
Nice Beaver Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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
3.60 | 31 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
3.61 | 31 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
3.61 | 31 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
3.60 | 31 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
3.60 | 31 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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