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Nice Beaver - The Time It Takes CD (album) cover


Nice Beaver


Eclectic Prog

3.88 | 165 ratings

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4 stars Nice Beaver ' The Time it takes

Great third album by Netherlands prog Rock outfit - Nice Beaver. Unfortunate name....

Interesting album with great vocals by Erik Groeneweg and changing musical moments, all fitting together well. Great melodic power prog - I like this! You can hear the influences, but not so overtly as to disappoint. You can hear 80's pop and King Crimson elements. Erik Groeneweg sounds like one of those 80's singers, but has his own strong voice and identity, which I suppose is half the battle. Better than many or indeed most modern prog singers, by a country mile. Erik is also the Keyboard player and does a good job of filling that post, although there is nothing too fancy. While the vocals are great, there is nothing stand out in the lyrics.

The label of 'progressive' is a bit of a misnomer for most prog bands these days (with a few notable exceptions), as you couldn't say any musical or thematic boundaries or perceptions are being pushed or challenged on this record.

The album has its full complement of synth-like vocal choirs, as is des rigueur for prog bands of this nature. However, despite the odd clich', which is practically unavoidable, the music is strong and interesting. The production is solid, but a bit shaky in places, but that doesn't make it any worse than the best of other overproduced prog bands.

Guitar by Hans Gerritse is solid as well and is reminiscent of Steve Hackett and Andy Latimer, with some King Crimson influences showing interesting playing and engaging. It's good to hear a guitarist that's non 'generic' and uses his wits and taste, as well as the standard backing filler. However, some of the lead breaks just aren't up to scratch. The drums (Corn' van Disseldorp) and bass (Peter Stel) are reliable and solid, as well as varied and do a good job at holding it all together. Stand out tracks for me are Rainbows End, River So Wide, The Time It Takes.

A really good solid prog band that's a cut above many of the other prog bands at the moment. There's no virtuoso stuff here and no 'outside' progression and no technical or lyrical boundaries are being pushed, but then I don't think that's what is needed or intended here.

Certainly, for me, Nice Beaver are more credible, genuine, involving and interesting than some of their contemporaries, like stuff from Magenta, Credo etc. Some really nice moments that hit you as well as some splendid melodies and hooks. The vocals and the guitar make the band distinct as opposed to 'generic' and indistinct like the bands above. It's not perfect and they could do with a good producer to push them a bit and shake up and shape up the sloppy bits, and there are a few. I am definitely a fan though and thoroughly recommend this album.

BillyWhizz | 4/5 |


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