In 2001, Nice Beaver recorded and self-distributed their first CD On Dry Land. Cyclops Records later picked it up and re-released it. This is a classic neo-progressive rock CD. It owes much to the 70s sound of Camel, Genesis, and Traffic.
Here's a little trick for any band looking to get a half star better review. Move the bass player higher up in the mix. I'm a sucker for that. Peter Stel (bass) is very prominent in the mix. He and Ferry Zonneveld (Drums) keep this CD firmly grounded and rocking. From the power-organ on "Oversight" to the dramatic whole-note guitar solos of Hans Gerritse and the intricate song development of "Where The River Runs", it is the stellar playing of Stel that keeps everything together.
There are parts of On Dry Land that remind me of Thieves Kitchen's Argot CD. It seems contradictory, but this is a CD that mixes a very melancholy sound with a driving beat. Trust me, it works. Erik Groeneweg (keyboards, lead vocals) has an excellent baritone delivery that helps give Nice Beaver its unique sound.
Nice Beaver would go on to release Oregon in 2004, which mixes a more modern sound with the 70s influence, but this is a must for those that want to get a feel of where the sound for Oregon grew from. On Dry Land is recommended for any fan of progressive rock.
1) Culley On Bleecker Street (7:12)
2) Oversight (6:14)
3) Wintersong (8:16)
4) Hope You Don't Mind (9:01)
5) Like This (6:14)
6) Where The River Runs (7:53)
7) We Are The Sun (6:57)