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PBII

Neo-Prog • Netherlands


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PBII biography
PBII was formed in 2008, as a continuation of Dutch outfit Plackband. Plackband members Tom van der Meulen (drums), Michel van Wassem (lead vocals, keyboards) and Ronald Brautigam (Guitars & backing vocals) wanted to expand and modernize the stylistic expressions previously explored with Plackband, and when they met bassist Harry den Hartog they encountered a fellow musician sharing their newfound musical visions: To create music inspired by acts like Frost* and Porcupine Tree, but also incorporating elements from jazz-rock and neo progressive symphonic rock.

PBII released their debut effort Plastic Soup on January 23rd 2010.

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Buy PBII Music


1000 Wishes Live1000 Wishes Live
Freia Records
DVD Audio$22.59
Plastic SoupPlastic Soup
PROGROCK RECORDS 2010
Audio CD$11.08
$12.58 (used)
Rocket! The Dreams OfRocket! The Dreams Of
Import
JFK
Audio CD$19.45
Plastic Soup by PBII (2010-07-13)Plastic Soup by PBII (2010-07-13)
PROGROCK RECORDS
Audio CD$35.74
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PBII discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PBII top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.82 | 43 ratings
Plastic Soup
2010
3.41 | 39 ratings
1000 Wishes
2013
4.06 | 33 ratings
Rocket! The Dreams of Wubbo Ockels
2017

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

PBII Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.13 | 4 ratings
[email protected]
2011

PBII Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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

PBII Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Rocket! The Dreams of Wubbo Ockels by PBII album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.06 | 33 ratings

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Rocket! The Dreams of Wubbo Ockels
PBII Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Wubbo Johannes Ockels was a Dutch physicist, astronaut, pilot and professor. On October 30, 1985, he was the first Dutchman in space when he participated in a flight on the space shuttle Challenger, STS-61-A. This experience affected him deeply and when he came back he put a lot of effort into safe ways of preserving the Earth and methods of producing safe energy. Until his death in 2014, he was Professor of Aerospace for Sustainable Science and Technology at the TU Delft Faculty of Aerospace Engineering. Ockels died in 2014 of an aggressive form of kidney cancer. Until his very last day of his life - some say with his last breath - he spoke of our responsibilities: Save the earth, well now!

Dutch prog outfit Plackband, who always had a very strong socially involved projects like Plastic Soup (2010, about the pollution of the Oceans) and 1000 Wishes (2013, with the topic of child cancer), decided to write a rock opera about Ockels and his vision, both during and after his flight into space. Well, I must say I├?┬┤m not very fond of rock operas in general: usually the music suffers when it has to carry primarily the message of the words. Only a handful of bands could come up with a really good work that is musically as strong as the idea within the lyrics. And I├?┬┤m glad to say that Rocket is one of them. The band has a long and complicated history at the Netherlands prog scene, being active, on and off, with vairous line up changes, since the mid 70├?┬┤s. Nowadays the core members of Tom van der Meulen (drums), Ronald Brautigam (guitars) and Michel van Wassem (keyboards) are joined by singer Ruud Slakhorst and bass player Alex van Elswijk. Also on board is soprano and backing singer Natalie Mees.

The results are stunning: a great mix of neo and symphonic prog, where the band delivers an hour of continuous great music (all tracks are linked in way or another) that takes the listener to the amazing experiences of Wubbo Ockels in an a roller coaster of sounds that is always varied, melodic and creative, with not a single moment of boredom all the way through. In fact this is one of the most interesting concept albums I have heard in a long time. A rare case where the words and music combine successfully in equal terms in a rock opera. Slakhorst voice may annoy some people with his vocal lines very similar to Jon Anderson. Unlike most of Anderson├?┬┤s imitators, who sound forced, Slakhorst voice comes across as natural and smooth, a simple coincidence of timbres. The band delivers a tapestry of sounds that takes some time to get into, but that will provide the listener with a great deal of pleasure if you listen carefully. This is definitely a grower that reveals more and more fine details with each spin, like any great prog record does. This is a real team work with all the instruments appearing and leaving according to the what the song demands. So don├?┬┤t expect any explicit display of virtuosity here. This is music for art├?┬┤s sake. Still, I do have to point out those fine, emotional guitar solos by Brautigam, a guy that has his own style of playing.

Rocket has a very good production and tasteful arrangements that include a string quartet to enhance the sound of some passages. Nad Sylvan (Unifaun, Agents Of Mercy. Steve Hackett) sings on one track too.

Conclusion: One fo the best records of 2017. Those guys took a quite risky project and came up with an excellent work that will please anyone who likes good melodic prog rock, even if they don├?┬┤t get the storyline. With no weak parts and a very original approach for such "political correct" theme, Plackband gives us both a masterpiece of good music and very good food for thought. Not many artists can accomplished that. Kudos to them.

Special thanks to Erik Neuteboom, my good friend and long time PA collaborator, who was at PB┤s 40 year celebration and sent me the promo CD of this great work of art. Somewhere out there Wubbo Ockels might be smiling upon this beautiful homage.

Final rating: 5 stars with honors.

 Plastic Soup by PBII album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.82 | 43 ratings

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Plastic Soup
PBII Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars Michel van Wassem (keyboards, vocals), Ronald Brautigam (guitars) and Tom van der Meulen (drums) are all well-known within the progressive scene for being founder members of the mighty Plackband, a highly regarded Dutch group who sadly never reached their full potential. Here they are back together (hence the band name), and they have been joined by Harry den Hartog on bass. It is strange to think that the core of this band started playing together in the Seventies, as this has much more in common with the neo prog scene of the early Nineties, than what was around twenty years earlier. Musically this is an incredibly powerful piece of work, with great performances from all four. Ronald's guitar style is incredibly reminiscent of Alan Morse, and "In The Arms Of A Gemini", in particular, contains some Spock's Beard moments, but there are also strong elements of Galahad and Pendragon as well as more American melodic stylings. This is strong stuff, with some crunching guitars, great over the top keyboard, and a dynamic rhythm section. Harry sometimes provides gentle fretless bass as a counterpoint, while others it is a fretted plectrum-led attack that gives the music a totally different feel.

The vocals for the most part have a slightly harsh edge, they haven't been smoothed out too much, and that is totally in feeling with this concept album, as this is a call to arms about the state of our environment, and what we are doing to our seas. The term "plastic soup" refers to the way that carrier bags react when they are in the sea. Dutch minister Jacqueline Cramer said "I think it's great PBII chose plastic soup as a topic on their new album! The more people know about it, the better!". The longest song, at nearly thirteen minutes, is the title cut and contains the thought provoking lyrics "It's plastic soup, it chokes the oceans, while all of mankind fails, will we ever hear again, the singing of the whales."

Musically and lyrically this is a wonderful piece of work that anyone into melodic or neo prog will get a great deal from. Well worth investigating

 1000 Wishes by PBII album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.41 | 39 ratings

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1000 Wishes
PBII Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars PBII from Holland was formed around 2008 and is a continuation of what done another dutch band named Plackband. Second release of PBII named 1000 wishes is a good concept , a sad one I might say story, anyone intrested listen to the album, read the lyrics and find what is behind. Musicaly speaking this is something between neo prog with symphonic parts and grandious orchestrations as on an opera rock release there is even The Hague Youth Symphony Orchestra who give a great atmosphere overall.. This is a lenghty album with more the 70 min of music, lenghty oneses, shorter ones aswell, narration is present here and there to make even more real. Anyway the instrumental sections are more then ok, even great, such on A Perfect Day - an 11 min tune of the highest calibre. The voice aswell is perfect for such music, elaborated with great range. All in all a good band that is rather quite unnoticed in prog circles, both albums worth to be investigated. 3.5 stars for this second offer, good but not quite close to masterpice.

 Plastic Soup by PBII album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.82 | 43 ratings

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Plastic Soup
PBII Neo-Prog

Review by Memo_anathemo

4 stars One night I was listening to a prog rock radio station in internet, and suddenly I heard a song which sounded really good to me, really neo prog sound. I checked the name and was expecting the name SATELLITE or PETER PAN on screen but it wasn't like that, what I saw was PB II. Unknown to me, I hurried to investigate a bit from the band and learnt they are from the Netherlands and indeed, they play neo progressive rock. I searched for the albums and found "Plastic Soup", when I listened to the album I was completely delighted to hear a band so consistent in their compositions, so creative and at the same time influenced by bands such as the ones I mentioned or even IQ and Marillion, somehow. The album is really nice to hear from beginning to end, such an excellent production, and gosh, let me tell you about the bass player Harry den Hartog, he's such prodigy, he plays amazingly his lines, it's one remarkable aspect of the album. For those who do not know this band and enjoy neo prog, this is definitely for you!
 PBII@Boergerij.org by PBII album cover DVD/Video, 2011
3.13 | 4 ratings

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[email protected]
PBII Neo-Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

3 stars PBII, what a terrible band name is Plackband II, don't know why they couldn't stick to this name. Here we have a DVD made in Netherlands to launch their CD "Plasctic Soup" released in 2010. So the concert is the complete presentation of that release. There is some cuts during the concert like there's were others songs played, i would have love to see songs from Plackband, but the band decided to put others tracks in the extras, one have nothing to do with prog rock and others are covers of Pink Floyd "Have A Cigar" with a John Jowitt struggling big time with the vocals, and "Here come the Flood" sing by John Mitchell who does a better job.

This band have been compared many times to Genesis, but the biggest influence seems for me to be Pallas with the guitars and the heavier parts. The compositions are rather good, not outstanding, apart for "Book of Changes", "Loneliness" and "Cradle to Cradle". "The Great Pacific Garbage Patch" represent clearly the environmental message of the album : "Plastic Pollution Kills"

The light show, the camera work and the surround 5.1 mix are very well done, and how nice to see a DVD by a neo prog band shot someplace else than Poland! In the extras, as i have mentioned, we get additional tracks, plus the video "Plastic Soup" who looks like a edited version of the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch". Also a montage of the show played at high speed, like all kind of documentary should be played to avoid boredness.

 Plastic Soup by PBII album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.82 | 43 ratings

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Plastic Soup
PBII Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Plastic Soup is the convincing debut effort by the seasoned musicians that make up PBII, a direct continuation of veteran Dutch act Plackband.

Their style of choice is probably best described as Neo-Progressive, but as many other artists exploring this sound in later years their musical canvas covers a somewhat broader territory than what some might associate this genre with. Lush, atmospheric symphonic backdrops and dreamy guitar soloing are central parts of the compositions explored, but spiced with hard and at times driving riffs, energetic soloing as well as mellower passages of a more ambient inspired nature. At times there's also room for textures with more of a psychedelic and space-oriented origin.

With the bass guitar given a prominent place in the mix and arrangements that at times remind of Golden Earring, blended with an overall style somewhere in between later day IQ and Porcupine Tree, PBII explore a contemporary variety of the neo progressive subset of the progressive rock universe, and deliver an overall solid effort on this occasion. A well made and well performed debut album overall.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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