Get this crazy baby off my head!


Nice Beaver

Nice Beaver - Oregon - 2004 - Cyclops

Oregon is Nice Beaver's 2004 and second studio album. The leader, Hans Gerritte seems to have listened to his Camel albums, as his guitar solos are certainly in the Andy Latimer spirit. Cyclops. 2004. © amazon.com

Nights In Armour opens with clean and clear guitar in an open melody. The bass is supple and the music flies by easily, until four minutes into the song the rhythm changes and becomes more serious and jazzy keys are blended in. This more or less makes a clean break with the first part of the track. Another triple of minutes further along we move into another change: vocals with Arabian influenced instrumentation. The finale returns the track's initial theme. The intro of Morphine slowly builds up. This track, even more than its predecessor, shows the changes of tempo Nice Beaver can make, switching from a flowing verse to a certain halting chorus, taken over by flooding guitars to return to the verse. Maybe this is how the band makes a five and half minute song sound pretty short. Any Other Day takes more of a vocal approach, having just a short intro, with a more or less constant flow from verse to chorus. As the track progresses the central guitar theme pushing more to the fore, facilitated by the return of the chorus. Title track Oregon has an intro of intermediate length, alternating lighter and more grave guitar sounds. From this we move into a gentle vocal section leading into a more engaged instrumental bit. The Beaver State starts with a lot of seventies Santana guitar with a lingering feel, at times opposed by bass. As the track progresses the guitar sounds become a bit sharper, letting the memories of Santana abate. After this instrumental Two Brides immediately starts the once again laidback vocals, sounding more gentle, almost wavering now. After a couple of minutes the vocals are broken by an instrumental section with a news section read across. The guitar slow builds during the ensueing vocal section, once again instigating an instrumental section helping build towards the final vocal section and climax. Love On Arrival is based on a hard guitar riff with strong type of a vocals. This track has a more traditional structure. As Lawn Mower's Day Off starts you can already here the theme humming in the back, waiting to gain in strength and dominate the track, the way Nice Beaver knows so well how to do. This theme gets some room in the chorusses already, lingering in the back during verses. The instrumental break fully creates room for the theme and its variations on for instance keys and acoustic guitar. Conclusion: There is something about this band diction that sets it apart from all other bands. What is so specific about it I find hard to describe, but it does make the band unique. It probably has to do with the way the rhythm in vocals is adapted to the percussion rhythm. This second Nice Beaver album is more consistent then its predecessor. Even though best track Lawn Mower's Day Off is not good enough to be another Wintersong, this album has turned out a step up for the band. © Roberto Lambooy © http://people.cs.uu.nl/jur/reviews/oregon.html

The Dutch prog-scene is alive and kicking! This has been known for quite a while and Nice Beaver is without any doubt one of the bands that is responsible for that. Proof: their new album. Nights in Armour is nice and long, starting off with a roll on the snare drum that hides a restrained violence. And indeed, after three minutes the song bursts into a heavy prog melody. Not for long though, because a bit later you get some easy, jazzy sounds. Prog lovers don’t have to wait long, however, before it gets a bit heavier again and further on even eastern influences can be heard. Very nice, although the complexity of the song requires that one must listen a few times to be able to appreciate it fully. This eastern atmosphere is very much present in the vocal part of the song, wonderfully illustrating the unreal dreamworld that is described in the lyrics It’s a pity the vocals aren’t very good. Hans Gerritse’s voice is a bit weak compared to the powerful, melodious prog-rock Nice Beaver presents. Morphine then. Chirping crickets and some more eastern sounds are the intro of a rocking very varied song with some heavier guitars. Peter Stel’s bass is great in this song. Erik Groeneweg, with his very particular voice, does the singing. I can’t help thinking he sings straight out of the throat and unfortunately this tends to be irritating after a while. A pity, ‘cause the song is great. In Any Other Day one gets the time to lean back and relax. This is an easy song with a chorus that’s easy to sing along. Remarkable is the beautiful combined play of guitar, bass and drums. The splendid melodious guitar solo completes the work. The title track begins with the menace of heavy guitar and synthesizer, followed by a guitar piece that reminds of Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun of Pink Floyd. Great melody, gothic guitars and a lot of variety, but unfortunately again, the singer fails. I imagine a singer like Ray Wilson could lift this song up to a much higher level. ‘Cause it sure is wonderful, full of rhythm changes and great bridges. About halfway Erik takes over the vocals, but he can’t take away the unsatisfied feeling.. The Beaver State begins with beautiful synthesizer sounds and a magnificent Gilmour-like guitar solo. During 90 seconds one could be listening to the intro of a new Pink Floyd album. The rhythm that follows is unmistakably Nice Beaver, but the Gilmour sound remains for a while. Absolutely wonderful! Once again there is this flirting with gothic/metal sounds in between very melodious parts. The more I hear the song, the more I love it! Also the ‘snapping’ bass is great. The track is completely instrumental and introduces a Nice Beaver that plays progrock of exceptional quality. To me the message of this song is very clear: the band has terrific members, but should be looking for a new singer. Why not invite some guest singers? The epic sound of the next track, Two Brides for Two Brothers, could absolutely use a female singer. I feel sorry to keep moaning about it and as I write this I feel guilty towards Hans and Erik, two nice guys for whom I got some Chinese take-away when they did their gig on the first Dutch prog-night in the Spirit of 66. But please let them prove their virtuosity on their instruments and use a better singer to lift the music up to the top where it belongs. Love on Arrival is a simple, heavy song with obvious metal influences and a simple, but splendid guitar solo. Also in Lawn Mower’s Day Off Gerritse’s guitar takes up a leading role and takes you into an atmosphere that reminds a bit of Mannfred Mann. Nice detail: in the middle of the song, the theme of Any Other Day is picked up again. Don’t let my remarks on the vocals mislead you. This is an album that should be standing on your cd-shelf! © Prog-Nose 30/05/2001. All rights reserved. Last updated: 31 december 2004 . [Website in order to promote progressive rock to a broader audience in Flanders but also in the entire world. No part from this website may be used in any other publication whether in print or on the world wide web without the editor's consent - all material is exclusive to Prog-Nose and copyright protected.] © http://www.prog-nose.org/engels/albums_2004/nice_beaver_oregon.htm

When it comes to liking music there are no hard and fast rules. We just like what we like and dislike what doesn't appeal to us. Trying to tell others why can be a difficult task. But whatever the criteria, it was love at first listen for Nice Beaver. Oregon instantly reminded me of an old 70s fusion group called Sweetbottom. The instrumentation is your basic Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, drums, but these instruments fill the CD. The melodies and counter melodies move these songs along and keep the listener enthralled. The opening track "Nights in Armour" is 12 minutes of pure joy. The songs fusion like opening moves into a nice straight-ahead prog-rock song and then ends with a nice jazz flow. The rest of the CD performs equally as well. From the sing along Gabriel influenced "Any Other Day" to the Camel-esque title track. It is great to see progressive music reaching back yet continuing in new and unique ways. Oregon is the second full length CD from this group. It is mature and polished. In an industry where it is difficult to get noticed, here is hoping that many get turned on to this amazing effort. Recommended to any fan of Prog and/or Jazz tinged rock. Added: December 18th 2004 Reviewer & © Steve Ambrosius Score: 4.5/5* [The comments are property of their posters, all other content © Sea of Tranquility]http://www.seaoftranquility.org/reviews.php?op=showcontent&id=1961

Previously I've reviewed the debut album ‘On Dry Land’ from these Dutch proggers, and I said that I felt that the album had some great moments but that overall it could have been better as some parts just didn’t live up to expectations. That has been rectified with the follow-up, as this is a much more consistent piece of work. Any album that starts with a song in excess of twelve minutes long has something to say, and “Nights In Armour” is a great introduction. It starts very slow, and gradually the drums take on a marching beat, and the keyboards and guitars make their entry almost as if Jadis or Camel had become an American marching band. The music builds, but it is so gradual at first that it just brings the listener in, holding him in thrall as the momentum while the bass starts to give signs of what is going to happen Instead of the vocals coming in, there is an Andy Latimer-style lead guitar solo before the band start to rock it out some more. Mind you, they started the last album extremely positively and then fell away, but this time it is an album that brings a smile to the face from the first song to the last. This is a band that is as happy being instrumental as they are providing vocals, as happy playing prog as they are to crank out some riffs or even bring in some jazz. The result is one of the best albums to come out of Holland for quite a while, one that has won me over, and considering what I thought of their last album that is a job well done. Review by & © Kev Rowland June 07, 2005 © 1995-2011 ghostland.com http://ghostland.com/ghostland/cd_reviews.asp?ID=153

Good, eclectic, progressive rock album with symphonic and jazz rock influences. The sound is primarily based on keyboards and guitars and is reminiscent in parts of bands like Genesis, The Flower Kings, and Camel. Lead vocals could be stronger, but this aspect definitely does not ruin a very good album. Listen to NB's "On Dry Land" album


1. Nights In Armour (12:12)
2. Morphine (5:31)
3. Any Other Day (5:52)
4. Oregon (9:35)
5. The Beaver State (6:42)
6. Two Brides For Two Brothers (10:38)
7. Love On Arrival (5:48)
8. Lawn Mower´s Day Off (10:14)

All songs composed by Hans Gerritse, Erik Groeneweg, Peter Stel, Ferry Zonneveld


Hans Gerritse - guitars, lead vocals, backing vocals
Peter Stel - bass guitars, vocals
Erik Groeneweg - keyboards, lead vocals
Ferry Zonneveld - drums, backing vocals
Michael Gustorff - violin [Guest]
Arjan Kool - cello [Guest]
Bram Kreeftmeijer - hobo [Guest]