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HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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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.

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HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE discography


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

2.83 | 5 ratings
Invisible
2012
2.96 | 9 ratings
When The Kill Code Fails
2015
3.00 | 11 ratings
Broken But Still Standing
2017
3.49 | 15 ratings
Out Of Mind
2018
3.41 | 14 ratings
Nostalgia for Infinity
2020

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)

1.67 | 3 ratings
Frail Hurricane
2012
1.00 | 1 ratings
Wait For The Storm
2012
2.40 | 5 ratings
Head in a Jar
2014
2.50 | 4 ratings
Solace
2015
1.00 | 1 ratings
Stand Up / When I Was A Ship
2018
3.77 | 7 ratings
Ark
2019

HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nostalgia for Infinity by HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.41 | 14 ratings

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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
3.41 | 14 ratings

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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
3.41 | 14 ratings

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

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator 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
3.00 | 11 ratings

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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
2.96 | 9 ratings

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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
2.83 | 5 ratings

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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.

 Ark by HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2019
3.77 | 7 ratings

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Ark
Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars "Hats Off Gentlemen, It's Adequate" is basically a Crossover Prog duo founded in London in 2009, which also incorporates an "as needed" group of musicians for their albums and EPs. In August of 2019, they released an EP called "Ark" made up of 3 tracks exclusive to this release. The band (for this particular EP) is made up of Malcolm Galloway (guitar, keys, synths and vocals), and Mark Gatland (bass and guitar). One of their regular musicians, Kathryn Thomas, provides flute on the 3rd track. The overall time for this EP is 25 minutes.

The first track is the title track "Ark" (11:47). 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 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.

"Chasing Neon" (5:34) 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. The last track is the traditional Irish folk song "She Moved Through the Fair" (7:48) which features Malcolm on vocals and everything else, except for the flute which is played by Kathryn Thomas. The song is about a man who loses his love with her untimely death after she went to the fair. He is later visited by her ghost who ays it won't be long until their wedding day. The song is made up basically of 3 verses, which the song continues in a slow march-like tempo in a minor key. Malcolm's vocals are great and expressive for the material, adding to the dark, mysterious tone. After the second refrain, the flute comes in for the instrumental break, layered with the synth and soft guitar and percussion. It's a very nice rendition, keeping the folk roots, but not sounding dated. Later, there is a more intense instrumental break as all instruments come in, but it all ends with a slow repeat of the last phrase of the lyrics.

This is really quite a satisfying EP, and everyone of the tracks would have contributed to an excellent album especially if the material continued as on this EP. Whether this material will become available on a later album is anyone's guess, but for now, this is quite an excellent EP and will definitely inspire the listener to want to seek out other material for the band. The centerpiece track, "Ark" is the most impressive, but even the last track is done quite well. This is a great EP for anyone to check out and it won't even cost you a lot of time to do so. Easily 4 stars but more material in a similar vein to this would have probably earned it another star. Very nice.

 Out Of Mind by HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.49 | 15 ratings

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Out Of Mind
Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars This is my first experience with HOGIA (I am not going to keep the full band name throughout this review!), which is primarily Malcolm Galloway (vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and producer) and Mark Gatland (bass, backing vocals, keyboards and co-producer), although they are often joined by Kathryn Thomas (flute), and when playing live they have other guest performers including Rudy Burrell (drums) and Ibon Bilboa (guitar). According to the band they 'combine prog/alt-rock, funk, metal, ambient, contemporary classical, minimalist, and electronica elements, and often explore scientific themes.' The latter I am sure is down to Malcolm's other life, as he told me he is a part-time musician, part-time neuropathologist and medical schoolteacher about the brain. Who says musicians are dumb?

I must confess it took me a little while to get into the album, just because there are so many different styles on offer. If we take 'Stand Up' as an example, and just listened to that one song, then I would say we were back in the very early days of Credo and the line-up which appeared on the debut album, with keyboards used as an accent, guitars crunching hard and Mark Colton at his most venomous. I honestly can't play this without thinking of the toilets such as Egham Compasses where we used to gig back then, 25 plus years ago. But then compare that with the following track, 'I Miss The Stars' which is far more Floydian with a swirling sound, almost spoken vocals, and a guitar which cuts through the mist with a strident but gentle sound, the gently picked notes combining well with keyboards. But 'When I Was A Ship' (which is about spaceships taking over mind-wiped slave bodies), has far more of a piano basis, with some wonderfully delicate basslines, which totally changes tack halfway through and moves from a proggy ballad to something which is far more of a frenetic shuffle.

This 2018 release was their fourth full-length album, so I am very much late to the party, but at some point I will be reviewing their other releases as well as Malcolm's solo minimalist classical outings. This does take a little getting used to due to the way the guys switch it up, and they sound quite different again when the flute comes in, but certainly repays repeated playings.

 Out Of Mind by HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.49 | 15 ratings

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Out Of Mind
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 can celebrate their first decade as a band this year, at least if my information about their history is up to speed. And in that initial decade of existence, the band have released four studio albums. "Out of Mind" is the most recent of these, and appeared towards the end of 2018.

Those who prefer their progressive rock to be accessible, inviting and made with a focus to create and explore moods and atmospheres should find this latest album by Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate to be right up their alley. With solid nods in the direction of late 70's Camel and Pink Floyd as well as some token winks towards early 90's neo-progressive rock, this is a band and an album that deserves to be given a spin by progressive rock fans with a particular fancy for those parts of the progressive rock universe.

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

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