Moments Stretched and Framed - Now and Never ALBUM REVIEW

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Postby SpartaX18 » 2022.11.25 (20:53)

Hi everyone, Nothony Himtano here, the Internet's busiest nerd, coming at you with a review of a brand new release by the band Moments Stretched and Framed, titled "Now and Never". Let's get right into it!

1. "On the Edge... of Time": Proggy, but clean — a combo I definitely dig. There's a healthy balance of melody and disorder (at least in terms of arrangement), together forming for a solid, interesting composition. However, I'm not very fond of the guitar the lead guitar(s) joining in the latter half of the track. They're just a bit too sloppy for my enjoyment, ever so slightly disturbing the aforementioned balance and cracking the immersion.
RATING: 5 out of 10 ninjas.

2. "Now": Slint on crack. Again, a tad too goofy at the end, but it's better here than in the opening track, especially thanks to the neat ellipsis.
RATING: 6 out of 10 ninjas.

3. "Hurry": Ironically, not quite the hastiest entry in the album. Good stuff, even if it's basically just Now with a small hotfix and a bonus few seconds.
RATING: 7 out of 10 ninjas.

4. "Unsettle the Score": This one's got everything. Quick maths sprinkled with jazz; tender but with an edge. The final 16 seconds feel mildly forced, but at less than 3-minute total runtime, they're hardly a grievance.
RATING: 8 out of 10 ninjas.

5. "Now or Later": Absolutely not now. Later? Maybe.. Ideally never. At this point, it's a highly unnecessary filler that doesn't bring anything new... except the triple drum kicks near the end, which singlehandedly carry this one, honestly. But they should've simply been incorporated into some other track, perhaps the previous one (which would've made me consider giving that one a ninth ninja!).
RATING: 3 out of 10 ninjas.

6. "Current": Not sure what to make of this one. I like the return of the slower pace, doused in minimalistic yet intriguing soundscapes. The breakdown starts off very well, but it quickly derails for seemingly no reason. Giving it a few more measures could've given the listener something to chew on while making the whole piece more cohesive, making the impression of a compelling story being told.
RATING: 5 out of 10 ninjas.

7. "Weave": Same story as Now or Later; makes me think the band forgot to cut out a break in between recordings!
RATING: 2 out of 10 ninjas.

8. "Breathe": Seems like there's something going on with the multiples of 4 — just like Unsettle the Score, we've got a rich assortment of sounds, tempos and techniques. The first half is honestly awesome, a certain highlight of the record. What follows isn't bad, but it lacks something, and in turn resembles one of those guitar-isolated edits of an actual song.
RATING: 7 out of 10 ninjas.

9. "Forward": What a plodding, brooding, lethargic drag of an introduction to legitimate poetry (more on that later)... I love it. Genuine emotion in this one, as the tone for the remainder of Now and Never is set by an excellent sonic depiction of exhaustion from bleak monotony, using as little instrumentation as possible.
RATING: 8 out of 10 ninjas.

10. "Drift": The saga continues. Drift picks up where its predecessor left off, taking the atmospheric setup and molding it into a truly fabulous, captivating tale of growing frustration, rage, rebellion and... surrender. What a heartbreaking rollercoaster ride.
RATING: 9 out of 10 ninjas.

11. "Now and Never": A textbook post-rock banger and an epic conclusion to the closing trilogy (and the album, of course). I could list all the superlatives in the world here, but that wouldn't do it justice. Just have a listen.
RATING: 10 out of 10 ninjas.
--- SUMMARY ---
Now and Never is an uneven, but gripping record. There's no shortage of exploration and experimentation — for the better or worse — which keeps the listener excited and curious about what's next, but at times goes a touch overboard. The theme of time is present throughout the entire LP and it's cleverly tackled in several different ways that together form an audio essay of sorts; one that reads like a selection of short stories but then ends with a grand Iliad-esque poem. Disjointed mess or avant-garde art? I think I'm leaning toward the latter, personally.
FINAL RATING: 7 out of 10 ninjas.


Have you given this album a listen? Did you love it? Did you hate it? Did you still appreciate it? You’re the best, I need rest, I likely won't review anything next (remember I'm the busiest nerd of the Internet).

Also, for some reason, I feel like these guys could like the game of N.

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