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Stop Motion Orchestra - Lightworks CD (album) cover


Stop Motion Orchestra



3.85 | 40 ratings

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4 stars Brilliant instrumental chamber prog from Austin, Texas, some very melodic and beautiful, all very abrasive and technically sophisticated. Composer/leader Mohadev is an absolutely brilliant guitarist!

1. "Serafini's Cat" (6:10) angular and irregularly rhythmed in an avant/RIO way. Like Spirogyra with an attitude. Nice weave in the third minute followed by some delightfully melodic whole-group chord ascensions--which is then followed by the descent. Charming and simpler interplay for the following minute. These guys can really play! They're really working hard to be together--and it's working masterfully! I am truly impressed. Great stuff! (9.5/10)

2. "Way To Sarov" (8:45) opens with a similar sound palette and style, rhythm and even melody to the previous song, but then things get a little heavy/abrasive and then alternating with banjo (banjitar?) sections. Impressive instrumentalism, timing, and cohesion, but there are lacking melodic hooks and other accessible elements. The wordless vocalizations added in the fourth minute are one such attempt. It almost works. (8.5/10)

3. "Nerve Hurdle" (4:56) Wow! this guy can play guitar! And the drummer can lay down some interesting, amazing beats. All instruments seem to be playing the subsidiary support role to the drum and bass--in order to set up the foundation for the seething guitar in the second minute and the seering guitar for the rest of the song. (10/10)

4. "Metal Pants" (2:28) violin and sax playing off the bass and drums--as if they are playing in each others' spaces-- for the first minute. Then the band gels and fills the spaces together--guitar and bass stepping in to help this. Could use more melody (more than Middle Eastern/klezmer twang). (8.5/10)

5. "Oceano De Leche" (7:00) gorgeous neo-classical chamber post rock for seven minutes (not "11:26" as posted), except for brief passages, the instruments are all gelling and melding for the smoothest, most melodic run of the album. Nice piece--especially the smooth second half. (9.5/10)

Thus, this album is not 33 minutes long, as posted, but 29 1/2 an EP's worth of songs. Too bad: This is definitely one of the best albums I've heard this year!

Five stars; a masterpiece of progressive rock music downgraded for unacceptable brevity.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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