Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate picture
Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate biography
Founded in London, UK in 2009

HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Malcolm Galloway together with Mark Gatland (bass). Both in the studio as well as on stage he has a fairly regular cast of fellow musicians that helps out, depending on what's needed for the occasion, consisting of Kathryn Thomas (flute), Rudy Burrell (drums), Ibon Bilaboa (guitars) and Sam Brown (vocals, guitars). So far two full length albums and three EPs have been released by this project, all on Galloway's own label Glass Castle Records.

HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE forum topics / tours, shows & news


HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE forum topics Create a topic now
HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "hats off gentlemen it%s adequate"
Post an entries now

HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE

Buy HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE Music



More places to buy HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE music online

HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE discography


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

HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 7 ratings
Invisible
2012
3.10 | 11 ratings
When The Kill Code Fails
2015
3.15 | 14 ratings
Broken but Still Standing
2017
3.56 | 19 ratings
Out of Mind
2018
3.59 | 16 ratings
Nostalgia for Infinity
2020
4.33 | 5 ratings
The Confidence Trick
2022

HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 5 ratings
Frail Hurricane
2012
3.67 | 3 ratings
Wait For The Storm
2012
3.14 | 7 ratings
Head in a Jar
2014
3.33 | 6 ratings
Solace
2015
3.67 | 3 ratings
Stand Up / When I Was A Ship
2018
3.82 | 9 ratings
Ark
2019
3.09 | 3 ratings
Feeling Great
2020

HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Confidence Trick by HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE album cover Studio Album, 2022
4.33 | 5 ratings

BUY
The Confidence Trick
Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate Crossover Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars 'We keep saying never again, and we keep making the same mistakes ...', this is dealing with the repeated failure to learn from history. Silence is a statement? Really? Sure, while considering the album's context, the lyrics, it gets a valid meaning. Encouragement is required for example, regarding the needed response to racist violence. Now we promptly are within the album entry. The aforementioned message on one hand, well then the composition as such, plus the instrumental implementation, everything is simply priceless. Leaves you wanting more. And indeed, 'The Confidence Trick' album marks the best song collection I've come across so far regarding this band. Just appealing in its entirety. Considering the booklet's fantastic layout respectively illustrations so much the more something for your ears and eyes. It is worth investing some time. A few songs are referencing Sci-Fi novels written by Philip K. Dick, others are inspired by personal experiences.

There is a really charming atmosphere prepared for the listener all over. Malcolm Galloway's voice appears to be unique, for one or two this probably needs getting used to. A trademark in any case, still can be filed under sorta hybrid of singing and speech. Superficially seen you may have the impression that he's pulling the strings right on his own, but as usual Mark Gatland is on his side, the longtime co-partner so to say. And that's nearly all about the current band line up. Oh, finally not to forget the nice flutes occasionally swirling around, provided by Kathryn Thomas, to mention End Of The Line for example. This has a great effect when trying to implement a somewhat silky mood. Electronics are fairly in place overall, even such a song like Perky Pat works well. Hence the drumming must arrive from the console solely. 10 years ago or so I would have complained, but today these things are refined a lot, finally acceptable to a layman like me.

'When it started, who won?' Major powers are becoming increasingly aggressive in trying to divide up the world, this nowadays is concentrated on the Ukraine. I would say World War Terminus is thematically drawing on current issues, especially concerning the threatening nuclear aspect. The extended symphonic excursion Refuge then comes with grandezza pure, context-wise following some adventurous experiences of Galloway's great-grandmother during Word War II. The album's title track shines with extraordinary playful guitars. And I'm always overwhelmed by the mellow jazz tinged Lava Lamprey flow, including some excellent bass lines. 'Armed with applause, but it wasn't enough ...', finally the short piano driven closing track Cygnus is generously dedicated to all those people from the health and social care devotedly fighting against the COVID pandemic. Occasionally reminding me of Tears For Fears and Talking Heads, and accompanied by those well thought out themes and messages, the band delivers more than one hour of entertaining music.

 The Confidence Trick by HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE album cover Studio Album, 2022
4.33 | 5 ratings

BUY
The Confidence Trick
Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate Crossover Prog

Review by Squonk19

5 stars The Confidence Trick is the impressive and thought-provoking sixth album release from the eloquent and eclectic UK prog rock band, Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate.

Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate (HOGIA) are a London-based progressive rock band fronted by Malcolm Galloway (on vocals, lead guitar, keyboards/synthesisers and programming) with Mark Gatland (on bass guitar, additional guitars, keyboards/synthesisers, Chapman Stick and backing vocals) and Kathryn Thomas (on flute and backing vocals). Malcolm is a classical minimalist musician and composer and retired neuropathologist who has followed a diverse creative arts path after Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (a joint-related collagen disorder) curtailed his medical career. HOGIA has been his band project, releasing their debut album Invisible in 2012, and more recently their critically acclaimed fifth album, Nostalgia For Infinity in 2020, just before lockdown. Mark Gatland is a talented musician and composer in his own right, and also plays bass guitar for the prog rock band IT. Kathryn is Malcolm's wife, who joins him and Mark at live gigs where her classical music commitments allow.

They have forged a fine reputation on the UK prog festival circuit and have steadily built a strong following. New album The Confidence Trick showcases not only the infectiously dynamic side of their live performances (which made me once describe them ' tongue-in-cheek, of course ' as the 'Otway & Barrett of Prog'), but highlights their complex and multi-layered musicianship, especially on the keyboards/synthesisers and programmed drumming ' which by necessity is often laid down on backing tracks when playing live.

Malcolm says, 'This album is a collection of tracks on the theme of cognitive errors, particularly overconfidence, and our failure to learn from the consequences of repeatedly following the overconfident. Overconfidence can be divided into two broad concepts ' excessive certainty and excessively positive views of ourselves and our favoured groups. Both kinds of overconfidence can be dangerous. Leaders may start wars erroneously certain of rapid victory. The company director may risk the livelihoods of their staff and creditors to make risky debt-laden acquisitions, excessively certain of their outstanding performance' We all might be better off if we sometimes paused to ask ourselves, 'why might I be wrong?''

The result is a musically diverse, contemporary and intelligent album of prog rock with many other musical genres merging in. Over thirteen songs, of which five are instrumental, HOGIA hold up a lens to the world around us in these challenging times. Often using sci-fi stories as allegories for our fears and experiences, the band have produced not only their most mature work, but also their best album to date, in my view.

Silence is a Statement is a very strong melodic start to the album. Lovely, chiming synthesised guitar notes sparkle over a deep electronica rumble, followed by piano and Malcolm's initially hushed vocals, before Mark's powerful bass and lively drums take the song on. The vocals build confidently, and the increasingly defiant lyrics drive home.

'When we say nothing ' we speak When we say nothing ' silence is a statement'

The dangers of not speaking out against oppression is the powerful message here. Silence is a statement of compliance and acceptance and can only strengthen the oppressor. The importance of both speaking out as well as speaking to each other is emphasised well. It's a song that has been played live for almost a year now ' often opening the set ' and it always works well, dynamically. However, the studio version positively shimmers and shines.

Back Where I Started is an immediate shift in style. Kathryn's flute flurries soar over a darker, keyboard-led background and heavy guitar chords ' providing an intriguing musical counterpoint. Malcolm's desperate and weary vocals recount a sci-fi tale of a time traveller who tries to fix events in history, but accidentally makes things worse. The album's thematic concept of cognitive errors, overconfidence in our abilities and failure to learn from past mistakes in order to avoid repeating them is laid out bleakly before us.

'Another chance to write the story And every redrawn path leads back to the start'

The parallels to the Greek legend of Sisyphus ' continually rolling his boulder up the hill, only to see it repeatedly roll back ' are emphasised by the incessant, slow pace of the track and it is a real grower with repeated listens.

End of the Line outlines a story of a society who can no longer philosophically question their existence and future without the fear of conflict. Is the road stretched out beyond them a line to somewhere else (outside?) or merely a loop to continually repeat? Musically, it creates an atmospheric soundscape of keyboards and muted guitar before a rich bass and slow percussive beat propels the unsettling lyrics. Once again, Kathryn's lovely flute playing lifts the music from its melancholic sense of futility, created by the hypnotic instrumentation conjured up by Malcolm and Mark.

'An end suggests an outside Something better left unspoken We don't ask anymore A loop or a line'

Malcolm's vocals seem to have a touch of Steve Hogarth weariness to them at times, whilst his well-judged guitar solo seems to offer a sense of hope ' although maybe it's a false one?

Perky Pat is an instrumental inspired by the Philip K. Dick story of a post-apocalyptic world where an older generation of survivors use a glamorous doll with a fictionalised lifestyle to distract them from their current situation ' at odds with their children, who have no interest in the delusion and have begun adapting to their new life. Musically, it is a lovely slice of progressive rock and electronica, with urgent, synthesised keyboard passages ebbing and flowing over a busy rhythm. There are some mesmeric, full-blown proggy moments of exuberance which wash wonderfully over you through to a stately conclusion.

World War Terminus refers to another Philip K. Dick story, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (filmed as Blade Runner), and the bloody, destructive, but ultimately mysterious nuclear conflict that nobody can remember how or why it started, symbolising mankind's inexplicable tendency to destroy themselves and their environment for the sake of selfish desires. The allegoric parallels to Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine are stark and lend a real gravitas to the lyric. Malcolm's stream of consciousness vocals mocking the idea of 'Another war to end all wars' are accompanied by measured guitar lines, complex instrumentation, and twinkling keyboards towards the end. A short, quirky and punchy track that stays with you.

HOGIA like to mix instrumentals with vocal-led songs to create a flow and balance to their albums and Pretending to Breathe is such a track. Another atmospheric blending of prog and electronica that flows thoughtfully with nice changes of pace, ambient-like passages punctuating some enjoyable keyboard/synthesiser playing. Not particularly linked to the album's overriding theme, but it fits in well between the more intense and calmer songs elsewhere.

Malcolm's love of science fiction has been clear to see on previous albums and the genre is often a great way to capture the current 'zeitgeist'. Another Plague draws on his experience as a neuropathologist and tells the story of a new disease that makes people's faces seem to disappear ' starting with the most marginalised groups, or those we have less empathy for, but eventually spreading to us all. The story is based on the idea that the condition affects the 'fusiform gyrus' part of the brain, which is important for visual recognition. It turns out to be a powerful metaphor for both the COVID pandemic and quarantine/isolation, and how those judged as different or less important to society are dehumanised ' the faceless poor, old, frail or displaced. The music is dense and powerful, and Malcolm delivers a stunning melodic guitar solo. There are many layers to explore and ponder in this pivotal track.

'First those with the least, the ones we'd hate to be, Then it spread, stealing faces of those who look different It's now so widespread, we've given up containment I can't recognise my friends; they don't recognise their children'

Just as the extended instrumental Ark from Nostalgia For Infinity recounted the story of Malcolm's great grandfather's wartime role with the Ark Royal, Refuge is inspired by his great grandmother's escape from anti- semitic pogroms and the Nazi Holocaust. The musical style and tempo attempt to match her journey from calm and peace, through fear and flight, then hiding and, finally, escape. It begins serenely with gentle piano before a sumptuous orchestral sweep of keyboards and synthesisers and through the story's twists and turns. This is complex, symphonic and cinematic prog of the highest order. Pulsating, dramatic and even dancing rhythms, and 'avant garde' touches appear, before another uplifting and climatic guitar solo and a hopeful piano coda. Even without the back story, this is a track to savour. It is a fine tribute to her positive and caring spirit in the face of such brutalisation, as well as the bravery of those who risked their own lives to protect a stranger. The parallels with the plight of the refugees of today are there for us all to consider.

Interlude is a shorter instrumental that provides another refreshing contrast. Guitar, keyboards, bass and drums are allowed to combine in a rich, vibrant slice of neo-prog rock that could easily have been extended for me.

The Confidence Trick is thematically at the heart of the album's message about overconfidence, both with excessive certainty and excessive optimism ' and the dangers of mistaking confidence for competence in society, our leaders, our decisions and in our daily lives ' which lead to repeating the mistakes of the past. It is here that that the lyrics and instrumentation are most integrated, and it is a real album highlight. Malcolm delivers more glorious guitar cameos, ably supported by Mark, as he wearily recounts how we get deceived time and time again by the 'confident incompetent' and the 'narcissistic slaughtermen'.

'We're quick to fall for The confidence trick To fool ourselves To let ourselves be used'

The instrumentation is dynamic and assured, and the restrained anger of the lyrics, with their echoes of the angst of Roger Waters and even Pete Townsend, sadly offer no solution ' other than to stay alert.

Lava Lamprey is a short, jazzy piano-led instrumental with a twisty structure that Malcolm likens to being on an out- of-control ride at a nightmare funfair. It provides a transition from The Confidence Trick, into All Empires Fall, linking the idea of dictatorial power destined to eventually fail. It is another example of never quite knowing where HOGIA are heading at any particular time, which is very much where their eclectic charm lies.

All Empires Fall gives a positive slant on the view that even the most evil of dictators and regimes will eventually fail. It gives a sort of 'nihilistic realism' to history and as a physicist, I can relate to the idea of the triumph of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and how 'Entropy wins'. Strident guitar and stirring bass mingle with rap-like vocals and a modern, accessible alt-rock/pop feel with a catchy chorus. The sentiments are so contemporary, although I was reminded of the Galahad song Empires Never Last and even Shelley's poem Ozymandias. However, it was the famous quote by Carl Sagan related to the famous 'pale blue dot' photograph from Voyager 1 that came into my mind: 'Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot'. When will the overconfidence of the world's leaders ever be recognised?

It is just like HOGIA to throw a curve ball at the end. Cygnus is a sombre, reflective and down-beat ending to the album ' but also has great dignity. Accompanied by piano, Malcolm's heart-felt lyrics on the betrayal of NHS and care staff at the start of the pandemic, due to the failure to follow the recommendations of the Operation Cygnus viral pandemic preparation exercise, resonate strongly. In just over a minute, the loss of so many loved ones due to overconfidence of those in power is clear to see.

'We stripped the armour from our heroes, the stockpile cost too much, We sent them to fight Armed with applause And it wasn't enough'

The excellent and expressive CD artwork design is by Malcolm himself, along with Mark, and demands a physical copy of the album in addition to any download. The music and imagery create a truly special and integrated experience to enjoy.

Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate have produced their best album to date with The Confidence Trick. Articulate and contemporary, and also as diverse and eclectic as ever, but showing a greater confidence in their musical abilities and vision. Progressive rock mingling effortlessly with electronica, classical and alt-rock influences.

An album that can be enjoyed in one immersive sitting, but with individual tracks that can easily stand on their own merits. The band have gained a growing and enthusiastic following due to their dynamic performances as a duo or trio, and their back catalogue has much to savour ' but this release is a real step-up in my opinion. If you like a variety of styles in your prog rock and intelligent, thoughtful lyrics to ponder, The Confidence Trick is not only 'more than adequate'' It's blooming marvellous!

(From The Progressive Aspect)

 Feeling Great by HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2020
3.09 | 3 ratings

BUY
Feeling Great
Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars Apparently, this EP is unrelated to the band's next album, 'The Confidence Trick', but contains some songs written during lockdown. The first three feature both Malcolm Galloway and Mark Gatland, but the final number is an old one which Malcolm recorded some 10 years ago and was discovered by a fan on YouTube who asked for it to be released properly. The band admit they don't have the original masters anymore, so it isn't up to their normal standard, but have put it on here as a bonus. The EP is just 18 minutes in length, but the four pieces show some very different sides of the band, who often utilize guests, but this time have recorded just on their own.

There are times when they are very Floydian, but the listener has quite a shock going from the almost laid back "Struggling" into "Callisto Cuddle Sponge" which has much more of a dance feel and is often led by a Chapman Stick. This song feels quite at odds with the others, while closer "Skyline" also has a dance feel, so it is almost as if the first two songs are by one group and the last two by another. Certainly, there is quite a difference in the musical direction, while the latter does have something of a demo feel as well (perhaps not surprising given its origins). Consequently, I am not sure if this is a good place to start when investigating HOGIA, and perhaps 'Nostalgia For Infinity' would be a better place to start, but given that all their material is available on Bandcamp why not give them a try?

 Nostalgia for Infinity by HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.59 | 16 ratings

BUY
Nostalgia for Infinity
Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars UK band HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE first appeared back in 2009, with composer and musician Malcolm Galloway as the main creator of the band. From 2012 and onward the band has released a steady stream of studio albums. "Nostalgia for Infinity" is their fifth studio album so far, and was released through the band's own label Glass Castle Recordings at the start of 2020.

Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate as of 2020 still strikes me as a band that will be of interest to those who tend to enjoy the more accessible aspects of progressive rock. While I can't really pidgenhole the band into any one tradition as such, I'd say that those who enjoy bands such as later day Pendragon as well as some of those bands that focus more on cosmic and futuristic sounds probably should enjoy this album quite a bit. With a slight reservation for the lead vocals, as I suspect that element will be somewhat divisive also for other listeners.

 Nostalgia for Infinity by HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.59 | 16 ratings

BUY
Nostalgia for Infinity
Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars Over the last year or so I have reviewed all of HOGIA's albums, along with many of the minimalist solo releases from band leader Malcolm Galloway, so I was intrigued to hear the latest. On this album he provides vocals, guitar, keyboards, synths and programming and he is of course joined by long-time collaborator Mark Gatland (bass, additional guitars, keyboards/synths, Chapman Stick) and flautist Kathryn Thomas who performs on five of the songs on offer. Kathryn has been working with HOGIA since their second album, but I believe this is the one where she had the biggest part to play. Usually there is a larger number of guests, but for this album it is just the three of them.

As I have come to expect from HOGIA, this album is a combination of lengthy instrumental passages, plus songs with interesting and intriguing lyrics. One of the prevailing themes of the album is the fragility of human civilisation, with tracks exploring this from a science fiction perspective. Galloway states he has been massively influenced by the works of Alastair Reynolds in particular and has set some of the tracks within worlds Reynolds created. For me, the song which has the most impact is "Ark", which is an instrumental depicting the story of the famous aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal. Galloway has a personal link with the ship, as his grandfather served with the Fleet Air Arm and was based on the ship for a while, and he now has Richard Galloway's flight logs and I am sure this link is what has assisted in creating an incredibly dramatic piece of music. The piece starts with the ship being built, and then works through different stages from surviving a U-boat attack to its part to the sinking of the Bismarck through to its own demise. He dedicates this piece to "Richard Galloway, the Fleet Air Arm, and all those who risked everything to stand up against the Nazis", and to me is one of the most poignant and emotional pieces I have heard from him to date.

As with all of HOGIA's albums, this is full of differing styles and contrasts, yet I believe this time the separate pieces blend together in a way which has been somewhat missing from the others. Art rock and crossover combine in a way which is both immediate and somewhat deeper than before. I would like to hear more of Kathryn throughout the album, and a real drummer would be welcomed, but if anyone has yet to start a journey with HOGIA then this is the one to investigate.

 Nostalgia for Infinity by HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.59 | 16 ratings

BUY
Nostalgia for Infinity
Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate Crossover Prog

Review by Agnenrecords

3 stars Hats Off Gentlemen it's Adequate are nothing if not consistent. There has been a hefty release every year since 2017's excellent Broken but Still Standing with the odd single thrown in and though 2019's Ark EP was only available in digital format, in answer to a question I posed to Malcolm Galloway at their gig in September 2019, two of the three tracks have made it onto this year's Nostalgia for Infinity. The HOGIA brand is heralded by their instantly recognisable font and a well-chosen cover photo, this time A Sense of Emptiness by Mrs White Photoart. It's also good to know that the source material on the latest release continues to be mined from science fiction, future-tech and AI.

The album title comes from the name of a spaceship in Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space novels, prompting some philosophical musing whereby each of our present choices narrows the range of possible futures or, put another way, the future of the past is closer to infinity than it ever will be again.

The opening two tracks Century Rain and Twin Earth are inspired by Reynolds' writing and thanks to Kathryn Thomas' flute they're firmly in the prog camp rather than the post-rock of 2018's Out of Mind. They form a nice pairing and could be two subsections of a single song (in the same way that Yes' Future Times and Rejoice are really two parts of one song) and are cleverly built up in layers with flute soaring over nice keyboard lines. These songs represent a future path best closed off, as the protagonist in Reynolds' story and narrator of the songs is living in an alternate 1950s Paris where the German invasion of France failed but the country is still gripped by fascism.

Ark skilfully captures the majesty of the Ark Royal, from its building and launch represented by the minimalist motifs in the introduction up to its eventual sinking (I come from a shipbuilding town). It's no surprise that Galloway's rather good minimalist album Transitions was released at around the same time, the track is closer to a contemporary classical-rock fusion reminiscent of Mike Oldfield than to anything else in the prog/post- rock HOGIA canon. There's not that much lead guitar in their oeuvre but here we're treated to a lovely understated, moving solo that reflects the grandeur of the vessel. Ark is a well-constructed, stately piece of music that is based on a personal connection to the Second World War aircraft carrier Ark Royal where Galloway's grandfather was an airman on the Swordfish bombers. Galloway inherited his grandfather's Second World War Flight logs and has included the moving story behind the song in the CD booklet.

Nanobotoma (a word Galloway believes he invented) is restrained HOGIA post-rock where the self-penned story about using nanobots to cure a leukaemia but in a twist that is perfect for the current coronavirus pandemic, the bots eradicate the original disease but replicate out of control and affect the protagonist's behaviour. While evolving to become transmissible by respiratory secretions they make their host lonely, to seek solace in close company, so that they can spread the nanobot tumour to other hosts.

Although Chasing Neon, which is also from the Ark EP, appears as a standalone track, it could easily be part of the Ark Redemption suite, the following sequence of tracks that form what could be a sci-fi/horror/thriller movie soundtrack. Chasing Neon is an electronic offering that might easily be the instrumental soundtrack to a dystopian film of the near-future starring a former governor of California. There are brief snatches of Berlin- school soundscape but it's largely programmed arpeggio sequences more in line with the work of Harold Faltermeyer or Brad Fiedel.

The Ark Redemption suite inspired by Reynolds' Revelation Space novels actually begins with Glitterband. This continues the retro-futuristic feel and also feeds from recognisable HOGIA post-rock tropes ' the lyrics are clever but the music is comparatively sparse and I'm not too sure that the track works. What is interesting is that I'm a fan of Mark Gatland's bass playing but it first becomes really noticeable on Glitterband. Conjoiners fits very well within a suite inspired by space novels, though this is more inner space because the subject matter is the direct connection of human minds. It's another instrumental but it changes mood from a very mellow synth introduction, shifting gear to a fast repeating lead synthesizer motif over a keyboard wash, before slowing down into space rock territory. Scorpio, a portrait of a genetically engineered human/pig hybrid with the function of a slave is really rocky' 'and all too brief. Listening to Inhibitors without the benefit of the liner notes made me think of SFX incidental music for a horror film soundtrack, perhaps for something like Alien. The only instrument is treated flute and it's very, very effective. The suite ends with the title track Nostalgia for Infinity. This has a short, deceptive minimalist introduction before a Gatland-driven bass groove kicks in and Thomas' voice recites the track title. A short, spacey interlude with wordless vocals presages a wandering flute melody and then the song proper commences. This is classic HOGIA post-rock territory but here Galloway's vocals are quite restrained.

Voyager is an instrumental with a Wish You Were Here-era Floyd-like beginning giving way to bluesy guitar solo that could be from the same era. The middle section drifts a little before the keyboards take centre stage with an uplifting, relatively up-tempo lead synthesizer melody. It's an apt musical interpretation of the journey of Voyager I, launched in 1977 and now the most distant man-made object in outer space.

I heard Sixth Extinction played live in 2019 and although I liked the sentiment I found it a difficult listen. On the other hand, the studio version, apart from the first verse, is a vast improvement. Galloway describes the song as 'aggressive' and it has a bit of punk attitude. There's heavy riffing and chugging guitar but it wasn't the music that I had a problem with - it was when too many words were crammed into the vocal lines like a stream of consciousness or rap; I've previously described Galloway's delivery as sounding disdainful like Pete Shelley (The Buzzcocks) but on the Sixth Extinction chorus I get hints of Bowie. On the whole I think Nostalgia for Infinity is a really good effort. It's immediately obvious that this is a Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate album; it's strangely familiar but now incorporates a broader selection of styles and there's a noticeable maturity to the songwriting, subtle things like minorising the key at the end of a phrase but also the embrace of experimentation like on Inhibitors. I first heard the group when Broken but Still Standing was released and raved about the flute during the first proggy 15 minutes. I'm still raving about the flute, which is always beautifully arranged but I'm also impressed with the way long-form pieces like Ark or the Ark Redemption suite are constructed, and this is the direction I think would play to their strengths ' still less vocals. They can also do some pretty good things live as a duo or trio with programmed effects, but incorporating other musicians into the live set, when we're out of lockdown restrictions, would surely propel Hat Off Gentlemen It's Adequate towards a brighter future.

This is a 7/10 album - 3.5 stars

 Nostalgia for Infinity by HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.59 | 16 ratings

BUY
Nostalgia for Infinity
Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Forum & Site Admin Group Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars After being impressed with last year's "Ark" EP and receiving a nice "thank you" from the band, I have been looking forward to a new full album release from "Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate", and in February of 2020, they have released the digital version of their album "Nostalgia for Infinity" (the physical CD will be released in May). This album boasts a total of 12 tracks and a total run time of almost 70 minutes. The duo of Malcolm Galloway (vocals, guitar, keyboards, synths, and programming) and Mark Gatland (bass, guitars, keyboards, synths, Chapman stick) is joined by one of their returning regular musicians Kathryn Thomas (flute, vocals). Two of the three tracks that were on 2019's EP show up on this album, namely "Ark" and "Chasing Neon", so if those tracks are any indication, this album is already pointing in a positive direction.

According to the Bandcamp page, the album has a loose concept in at least 7 of the tracks that were inspired by science fiction author and astrophysicist Alastair Reynolds with other tracks relating to nanotechnology, World War II, and environmental destruction, basically different perspectives dealing with the frailty of civilization.

"Century Rain" (9:17) starts things off with a classical music feel bringing in the flute and then becoming cinematic with layers of synth and guitar building up a nice sweeping feeling. This builds a foundation for vocals and well-written lyrics. After two verses, guitar and flute create a nice atmosphere, and soon a synth heavy solo also brings in an up tempo rhythm and soon vocals start again repeating the chorus, and then an extended instrumental ending flows along nicely to the end, still featuring plenty of lovely flute, synth layers and guitars with a moderate beat and a symphonic attitude. "Twin Earth" (5:59) continues with the same style, but more of a rock edge than before. There is more of the flute on this one, and again the lyrics are well written bringing in the progressive feel to match the words. Strong synths drive the last 4 minutes of the track which is all instrumental which features some nice playful interchange with the keys and flute, piano flourishes and moderately fast beat.

"Ark" (11:47) is the instrumental centerpiece from last year's EP and following is a description that I wrote in the review for the EP. "This track is inspired by Malcolm's grandfather's (Richard Galloway) WWII flight logs. Richard served on the aircraft carrier known as the Ark Royal which has an interesting history, including taking part in the sinking of the Bismark. The music specifically relates to incidents as it plays, the description of which is on the band's Bandcamp site (under the listing for the EP) for those that are interested. It does make everything interesting to follow along. The track is dedicated to Richard and those that fought against the Nazis. Malcolm plays everything on this track except for bass (played by Mark). A light, meandering section starts off the track mostly made up of keyboards and light guitar. Synths bring in a orchestral feeling and a very nice guitar plays over a beautiful twinkling piano background and the rhythm is nice and smooth giving the impression of smooth sailing. The music becomes tenser and darker at 3 minutes signifying preparation for confronting the enemy and is driven by synths and keys. At 5 minutes, the music becomes dramatic signifying the confrontation of a U-boat, which proved the vulnerability of the aircraft carrier, but it eventually sunk by a separate war ship. The music quiets down leaving just keys and light guitar work, but remaining tense as the hunt for The Bismark begins. At 8 minutes, the guitar brings back in full instrumentation for a climactic section. The Bismark is sunk, but the last section represents the sinking of the aircraft carrier. After nine minutes, the music becomes soft and twinkling again and ends beautifully." It's a progressive masterpiece with symphonic prog leanings inspired by classical music compositional style, a mini soundtrack for the mind.

"Nanobotoma" (5:34) goes for a harder, rock edge, more in a straightforward way, but with excellent, complex lyrics that are easy to understand with Malcolm's clear delivery. He may not have the best voice, but it serves the purpose by accenting the words clearly. This track also features a nice guitar solo. "Chasing Neon" (5:34) appeared on the "Ark" EP. Again I'll use my review of that EP for this track. The instrumental "is composed by Malcolm, but he only plays keys and synths while Mark takes over on guitar and also plays bass. It begins softly with synths, but soon a funky synth comes in and a steady percussion pushes it quickly forward. The synths establish a melodic, repeating pattern, and then the guitar comes in creating a darker atmosphere while the beat continues. The instrumental is quite straightforward, but it is still pretty good."

"Glitterband" (5:32) takes on a darker feel as it deals with an apocalyptic theme, again the lyrics are excellent, the vocals are more dramatic on this track. A keyboard riff carries it all forward supported by minimal guitar, a solid beat and bass line, the music flows along easily, but with a more morose and dramatic atmopshere. "Conjoiners" (4:31) is a spooky and atmospheric instrumental. A slow synth melody comes in later, but the music keeps on the dark and ambient side of things. Using electronics and synths, the music builds a bit as it continues, swirling around and then slowing down again at the end. "Scorpio" (1:19) is an even darker track, much heavier and dramatic, a short and concise statement that throws in some dissonant jazz towards the end. This track could have developed into an interesting idea, but is over too quickly. "Inhibitors" (3:25) goes into an experimental mode with great effects that also utilize the flute. Dark and foreboding, it still has some intriguing atmosphere that makes things mysterious and plays with the boundaries approaching avant garde style.

The title track "Nostalgia for Infinity" (6:59) features Kathryn doing the vocals in an echoing, spoken word style. A moderate beat takes off bringing along swirling synth riffs and melody as this continues. Soon the beat ends and the music gets atmospheric and dark again and her vocals become songlike and wordless, the beat comes back in and her lovely flute takes over. Very nice. Just before the 4 minute mark, Malcolm begins singing and finally establishing the melody. This is definitely one of the stronger tracks of the album, with Malcolm letting loose in his vocal expression. "Voyager" (5:50) is another nice instrumental, this time featuring some beautiful guitar with nice support from the flute and synths. Later, the synth also gets a solo. The melody on this one is quite lovely and heartfelt. The album ends with "Sixth Extinction" (4:06), a fast paced track with a surprsingly heavy riff and frantic vocals. Again, the strength in in the lyrics more than the vocal ability, but its all good because the lyrics are easy to understand.

This album does a great job of showing the versatility of the band and also has a great mix of vocals and instrumentals. There are some definate highlights in this album, namely "Ark", "Conjoiners", "Nostalgia for Infinity", "Voyager" and "Century Rain". The other tracks also are quite good and will keep your interest as you listen to the entire album. The music goes quite smoothly into different styles, but is still cohesive as it explores symphonic styles, ambient and experimental sections, electronic music and a few tracks that are relatively straightforward. The vocals are okay, but the lyrics are excellent. The musicianship is wonderful, though I wish I could have heard more of the jazz fusion side that they hint at in "Scorpio". The use of the flute in many of the tracks is also a big plus, yet it never wears out its welcome as it appears in various places throughout the album, giving it all the right amount of depth. All in all, this is a very enjoyable album even if it doesn't get heavily progressive, there is still a great amount of progressive traits to the music, especially in the classically influenced tracks and the ones that lean more toward the symphonic style. The album does still pique my interest as I look forward to where this band can go. This is one that should not be ignored, though some will really love it while others may like to hear more experimentation. It's hard to please everyone, but I know this album pleases me. There are masterpieces in this album for sure and that is what keeps my interest in the band, but overall it comes out as a 4 star effort with high recommendations.

 Broken but Still Standing by HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.15 | 14 ratings

BUY
Broken but Still Standing
Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars The third album, 2017's 'Broken But Still Standing' is yet another concept. It follows the story of human evolution, from LUCA, the last universal common ancestor of all current life on earth, via Lucy, one of the possible precursors of our species, to conflict and eventual symbiosis with artificial intelligences. The general theme of the album is that life has progressed by forming coalitions, whether between the primitive cells that engulfed each other to become the cell and the mitochondria (the power stations of the cell), between individuals to form communities, or between different forms of life in the future. As the last album can be seen to be a continuation of the debut, so this can be seen to be a direct follow-on from the second in the way the music is more varied, more complex, yet without losing the angst and anger which shows the indie roots. The flute on "Almost Familiar" is the perfect foil for the guitar, while both follow on from delicate vocals and layered keyboards. The drums are kept front and centre, ensuring we don't relax too much into the music. The instrumentals are delicate and dreamlike, introducing us to different characters within the album, with "Luca to Lucy" taking us from the last common universal ancestor of all life on earth through to the earliest found ancestor of homo sapiens.

But contrast that delicacy to "I Fell In Love With A Mechanical Dragon", which is back to the HOGIA of old with repeated lyrics, repeated melodic phrases, full of angst and passion. Simplistic keyboards reminiscent of Pulp are the backbone of this, and in the right environment this would be a hit single. I find it both incredibly infectious and annoying at the same time, yet is probably the single song of theirs I have played most as there is something about the naivety which really works for me, and I'm still not sure why. HOGIA are a contradiction in many ways, producing music which would be embraced by many in the prog community and plenty others which would be shunned. The attitude reminds me somewhat of Poisoned Electrick Head while managing to sound nothing like them. Exciting, interesting, and certainly never conciliatory this is indie prog worth investigating. My favourite album of theirs to date.

 When The Kill Code Fails by HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.10 | 11 ratings

BUY
When The Kill Code Fails
Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars 2015 saw Galloway return with the same line-up, this time with a science-fiction/artificial intelligence themed concept album. Musically this is a far more diverse album than the debut, with more keyboard layers and synths, and this time we are taken on a musical journey as well as a lyrical one. The delicacy of "Broken Wave" has far more in common with Galloway's solo work than one would expect from his band project, but it provides a nice delicacy and interlude. My favourite on the album is "Head In A Jar" which is a lovely angular progressive rocker, with an emphasis on the rock side. Lyrics are repeated as Galloway gets more and more angry, and this feels like a direct continuation in style from the debut.

The indie attitude is still prevalent for much of the album, which will be quite disconcerting to those who like their prog to be wrapped up in a certain style box with a nice ribbon tied around it. If they had been around in the early Nineties then I am sure that the mighty Organ would have been incredibly vocal proponents of the band as this is the sort of music they lapped up back then. The way they move seamlessly from electro into prog into angular indie rock and flashes of hard rock is always an interesting journey. I can't say I always really enjoy what they do ("Link" uses a drum machine which should have been taken out the back and destroyed), but I admire them for what they are doing. This is a different refreshing take on the prog scene, and worth investigating for those who want something quite separate from the norm.

 Invisible by HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.00 | 7 ratings

BUY
Invisible
Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars HOGIA are based around Malcolm Galloway, who is also known for his minimalistic orchestral recordings, and on the debut album 'Invisible' from 2012 he was joined by Kathryn Thomas (flute), Mark Gatland (bass), Rudy Burrell (drums) while guitarist Ibon Bilbao also helped on one track. On Prog Archives the band have been listed under Crossover, which is sometimes used as a dumping ground for bands who are deemed to be worthy for inclusion on the site yet none of the other sub-genre teams will take them. It has taken a long time for me to find a way of describing them, and the best I can get to is Indie Prog, as opposed to Indie Rock. The vocals can be angular and abrasive, lyrics are often repeated, sometimes to distraction, the music can be clunky and sharp and certainly isn't what one would expect from the nice laid-back world that is prog. Galloway has a real passion and there are times when his voice fractures as he is attacking the microphone, and he reminds me of an angry Damon Albarn mixed with David Byrne.

This isn't prog to be reflected on, either lyrically or musically, but is music which belongs in a live environment and I can imagine the band went into the studio, laid it down, and were back with the master tapes in a very short time indeed. This isn't what people think prog should be about, as there is an intensity and energy which is rarely seen in that environment unless it is with the more metallic and heavier bands. But this isn't metal, it isn't pronk, but it does have some of that attitude. I first played this album when I was moving a load of manure (honestly, I live on a farm), and somehow it seemed the perfect accompaniment to the task at hand. They aren't always in your face, and so slow it up when they feel the need, but it is never for long, and soon they are back in your face again demanding you pay attention. Interesting and refreshing.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.