Aclaración...

Este espacio se reserva el derecho de publicar sobre cualquier tema que parezca interesante a su staff, no solamente referidos a la cuestión musical sino también a lo político y social.
Si no estás de acuerdo con lo expresado podrás dejar tu comentario siempre que no sea ofensivo, discriminador o violento...

Y no te confundas, no nos interesa la piratería, lo nuestro es simplemente desobediencia civil y resistencia cultural a favor del libre acceso al conocimiento (nuestra música es, entre otras tantas cosas, conocimiento).

viernes, 9 de septiembre de 2016

Nice Beaver - The Time It Takes (2015)


Para cerrar una semana bien movida y con muchas sorpresas, les dejo un excelente disco de progresivo bien moderno de una banda totalmente desconocida por estos pagos. Como último aporte del día les dejo un disquito que va a sorprender a más de uno, una experiencia muy accesible, muy fácil de escuchar, pero a su vez bien bonito para todo el mundo, en un disco redondo y maravillosamente agradable.

Artista: Nice Beaver
Álbum: The Time It Takes
Año: 2015
Género: Eclectic Prog
Duración: 55:38
Nacionalidad: Holanda


Lista de Temas:
01. River So Wide
02. In Close Proximity
03. The Path to my House
04. Timeline
05. Rainbow's End
06. The Time It Takes
07. Sound Behind Sound
08. Waiting For The Bell To Toll

Alineación:
- Erik Groeneweg / vocals, keyboards
- Hans Gerritse / guitars, back vocals
- Peter Stel / bass, back vocals
- Corné van Disseldorp / drums




Rock prog muy melódico y agradable directamente desde Holanda. no voy a escribir demasiado porque no tengo tiempo, pero para quienes quieren experimentar con sonidos modernos de versiones bien actuales del rock progresivo, este es un muy buen ejemplo de cómo hacer buen prog en tiempos actuales y no basado en los 70s.



Es verdad que el disco tiene un poco de todo y para todos los gustos, baladas, canciones épicas, hasta viene con tracks bastante alegres, un tanto insclasificable y con muy buen gusto.



El disco va recorriendo distintos caminos en una propuesta ecléctica y muy bien llevada, con gran calidad, dinamismo y polenta, siendo bastante muscular y donde la tensión está siempre presente. Es de destacar que los distintos climas y temáticas sonoras se van alternando permanentemente pero de manera cohesionada, o sea, tiene de todo un poco y todo en su justam medidad, pero combinado de manera muy exacta para que el resultado sea inmejorable dentro de su propuesta.



Vamos, ahora sí, con los comentarios de terceros y en inglés, y ahora sí vienen perfecto para que conozcan la opinión de varios melómanos que también fueron sorprendidos por este disco. Los invito a conocerlos...

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!
Uwe Zickel


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. 4.5/5 rounded up.
Kelvin W.

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.
Drew Fisher

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.
5/5 Epitaphs
Thomas Szirmay

When I heard NICE BEAVER were releasing a new album in 2015 it made me smile. I immediately went to my collection and pulled out their debut "On Dry Land" but before I played it I read the first three song titles and I once again had to smile. The thing is that this band writes memorable lyrics and memorable melodies, and despite having a rather large collection of music I remembered these songs like I played them the day before. "The Time It Takes" grew every day I listened to it until it has become my favourite by them followed by the debut then "Oregon". The lyrics and music are intelligent but it's the emotion that has me giving this 5 stars. There have been times my eyes have teared up listening to the words or hearing the uplifting music. It just doesn't get any better than this at times, it really doesn't.
"River Wide" and the closer "Waiting For The Bell To Toll" are tied for third as far as my favourite songs go on this record. The opener features a nice bass/ drum intro as the guitar cries out. Those amazing vocals join in..."yeah the river so wide". Love the guitar in this one. Mellotron after 2 1/2 minutes as it settles in for the chorus. Themes are repeated. "In Close Proximity" has riffs and mellotron early on before it settles in with vocals as these contrasts continue. There's a nice little jazzy section 3 1/2 minutes in. The song ends with some guest cello. "The Path To My House" is my second favourite song. The vocals and sound are laid back and man I love the lyrics here. It's an understated track that impresses on a few levels. I like the soaring guitar expressions after 3 1/2 minutes with the prominent bass. "Timeline" is interesting with the opening instrumental bringing TRANSATLANTIC to mind as it's fairly bombastic then we get some samples inserted around 1 1/2 minutes related to the World's timeline. Vocals follow then I love the instrumental section 3 1/2 minutes in. Vocals return as it calms down 5 minutes.
"Rainbow's End" will go down as probably my favourite song of 2015. Sentimental is the word as he describes a place that means so much to him. It's his rainbow's end. I can't tell you how much this song moves me emotionally. "Just beyond the river bend... a yard with daffodils... flowers in the window sill". Then it kicks in hard as the vocals turn passionate. My God! "Freshly painted garden fence... plot of roses by the door". Then it kicks in again. So emotional as a guitar solo follows. "Safe behind the garden fence... where ravens are your only friend... just beyond the river bend". He then repeats "Look around, look around" over and over. Ah yes God's beauty, the rainbow's end. "The Time It Takes" might be the first title track I would rate as my least favourite on any album I own but it's still really good. The guitar sounds so good to start us off as it is picked and the drums sound amazing as well. Some excellent synths here that I really appreciate as they are melancholic. Laid back vocals 2 1/2 minutes in then it kicks into gear a minute later but settles back quickly with organ and more. It's heavy before 5 minutes with the synths crying out over top. So good! Emotional vocals and guitar follow as this song gets better as it plays out.
"Sound Behind Sound" opens with atmosphere before it kicks in at 2 minutes. Love the guitar and bass in that feel good section. Piano comes to the fore then vocals before 3 1/2 minutes. Killer bass here. "Spread the word around, the band is back in town". Hell ya they are! "Waiting For The Bell To Toll" is the over 11 minute closer. Talk about memorable lyrics and man they sound so damn good too instrumentally. Uplifting is the word. The guitar is so fine, love that melody. Ripping guitar before 4 minutes then it settles into a beautiful section. An impressive instrumental passage takes over 6 1/2 minutes in then the vocals return. Check out the guitar before 10 minutes as well.
I'll be honest, when I heard they were back after an over 10 year hiatus I wasn't expecting the new album to surpass the first two. They both spoke to me while this one goes beyond that.
John Davie

The time It Takes, Nice Beaver´s third release came no less than11 years after their second, Oregon (2004), but was well worth the wait. In fact, it´s surely their best. The line up is almost the same as the other two (only drummer Corne van Disseldorp is a newcomer). And although I did write some enthusiastic reviews about them a few years ago, looking back I always felt that something was missing about their music, specially concerning their songwriting skills. Their mix of progressive rock, jazz, soul and even a bit of R & B seemed odd, but it worked, at least partially. The trouble was that those elements were kind of scattered around, without really cooking. Now it´s a whole different story. On the new CD those dutch guys finally put all their influences into more consistent, mature compositions that flow from beginning to end without a hitch.
With an excellent, organic, production they have found their very own personality and sound like no other band. This is much thanks to the right use not only of stronger tunes, but also of the tight arrangements that show s their unique features like Erik Groeneweg´s fine soulful voice (sometimes reminding me of american singer Michael McDonald), Peter Stels great bass runs and Hans Gerritse jazzy guitar lines. Stels in particular shows a slight funk-like style that fits perfectly in. He is probably one of today´s finest bassists, while Gerritse plays some very good, tasteful licks and solos. New drummer van Disseldorp is a very good, versatile player that also proved to be the right choice for their music. In all we have 8 well crafted songs that are a joy to listen to. And the more I´m listening the more I´m liking it. One of those rare records where everything works like a clockwork: the right amount of notes at the right places, no less no more. I´m sorry this CD took so long to arrive and missed my list of best of releases of 2015. But make no mistake: if I could change it, this one would be at least at the top five.
Although hardly "classic progressive" (no symphonic parts here), The time It Takes still has all the elements I enjoy on an album: excellent tunes, the right amount of virtuosity to enhance the songs and -more important - an emotional delivering. I really wish those guys will produce more masterpieces like this one. Music for the heart and soul.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars with honors. Highly recommended!
Tarcisio Moura

This is one of those bands that I decided to take a chance with and just get the album. There were so many good reviews about them and it was time to get another modern band into my collection. Though I can't say the album had me doing somersaults from the start, I recognized that there was something here that I would be able to get into. And now, after a few listens plus hearing songs randomly cropping up on mixed playlists, I have found the sweet spot that has so impressed others.
The very opening was easily ear-grabbing. These computer sounds and then this deep, warm bass and slow, steady drums sounded so enticing that I was buckled in and ready for the ride. The slide guitar came in smooth and cool, and I began wondering when was the last time I heard slide guitar on a modern prog album. But the first time through this album I was left feeling a little let down. It seemed to have all the right ingredients but was not truly shaking me up inside. All that has changed now though. This album is as good as others say.
There are a couple of reasons why "The Time It Takes" is so enjoyable. First of all, the production is wonderful. It has a rich, warm sound with all instruments clear and making strong statements. Recently I have noticed that many modern albums deaden the drums when you compare them to some of the albums of the seventies. "The Time It Takes" has a modern drum production but without making them sound like a background afterthought. Bass, drums, guitar, and keyboards all sound excellent. Add to that the fact that the playing and musical composition is more advanced than standard pop rock but not overly technical and in-your-face and you have an album that is enjoyable as a prog album but still accessible even to non-prog music lovers. In other words, I can play this album in the car along with Yes and Spock's Beard and my wife will still like what she hears. Not so with King Crimson or Van der Graaf Generator!
A word about Erik Groeneweg's vocals: he sings with a lower, almost soulful register and it works quite well for most of the music. A lot of prog vocalists go for the higher register style and so it's nice to hear someone doing something that wouldn't seem out of place on a contemporary non-prog rock album. I do feel, however, that something is amiss and I have concluded that, when the band powers up the music, Groeneweg is unable to follow suit vocally. I noticed this particularly in "Sound Behind Sound" which rocks a little more than most of the other tracks. The vocals sound a bit weak here. So I am split on whether or not I like the vocals. For now, more good than bad but not perfect.
It's been difficult picking out a favourite track, and I like all but "Path to My House" which in my opinion sounds like an unsuccessful attempt to do a cover song. It's not a cover, I know, but it sounds like something didn't work out right. Not the same for "Rainbow's End" which is the much better of the two slower songs because this one charges up with strong emotive passages and even the vocals cut loose here.
This is an album that is good to listen to from start to finish ("Path to My House" is the shortest track at under 5 minutes and passes by acceptably soon) and just about any song is worth pulling off for mixed playlists. I give it a confident 4/5 stars.
Peter Skov

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.
Will Sanderson 
Y así me despido hasta la semana que viene, que lo disfruten...




1 comentario:

  1. Qué buen disco! yo había oído uno de 2001 (gracias a Marek); estos muchachos han crecido!!! Gracias Moe

    ResponderEliminar




Lo más visitado...

Lo más visitado en el mes

Lo más visitado esta semana