Broken But Still Standing

Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate

 

Album Notes

 

Introduction

 

This is London (UK)-based progressive rock band Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate’s third album,  released in October 2017.

 

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. I am however not necessarily saying we should become cyborgs, this is just the story of the album.

  

 Track Listing  

 

1) Vent
The oldest known life on Earth lived about 3.7 billion years ago [for more information see Nick Lane – Power, Sex, Suicide and Nick Lane – Oxygen - http://amzn.to/2vd5HS6]. LUCA is the predicted last common universal ancestor of all life on earth. It probably evolved in deep sea vents where ocean water interacted with magma to form cell-like structures, which kept the chemicals necessary for life close to each other, rather than diffusing away into the ocean.
Instrumental.

 

 2) Almost Familiar
Wherever we go and whatever we do, it always seems familiar.    

Ice around the island
The mountains fractured diamond
I looked again and again and it seemed
Almost familiar

I climbed into the cave
Of stalagmites and slaves
I looked again and again and it seemed
Almost familiar

The pulsing quartz 
The throbbing vines
Mechanical insects 
In quantum mines
I'll see it before and forget it again
Almost familiar

The open minds
The water fires
The static drop 
Atomic wires

I looked again and again and it seemed
Almost familiar

 

3) LUCA to Lucy
Instrumental

 

4) Lucy
Lucy is the name given to a 3.2 million year old Australopithecus skeleton discovered in Ethiopia. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucy_(Australopithecus)]. Lucy may be an example of a precursor of Homo sapiens. Lucy was named after the song Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.
Instrumental (lead bass flute)

 

5) Last Man On The Moon
This song follows the development of humans, from LUCA to Lucy. The song follows a group of human explorers stranded on Mars when civilisation on Earth comes to a sudden and violent end. This is another bottleneck in evolution, where the numbers of our ancestors has been dramatically reduced. We've been here before.

Looking back beyond ourselves, when time passed without making marks.
From the ocean smoke, to the day we awoke, Luca to Lucy.
First footsteps, the first to leave home. From the canopy, to iron from rust and stone. 
We've been here before.

Luca meet Lucy, maybe you grew up too soon? Such a rush to be, the last man on the moon
Let's play, let's start again. Nothing is new. Just a change of perspective, a different point of view. 
Too far to see the fireworks. The flicker of the light, was just in my mind. But still we sat and we watched, as our old world died. 

 

6) Advancing On Snailback
Instrumental

 

7) Anywhere

The higher the wall
The further to fall to fall
And we can always fall one step further

The higher I climb the steepest incline is inside and it’s taking over
The one thing that I wanted to say, has fallen out of my brain, I guess we’re not going anywhere

A tainted word in a painted world
We can always find excuses 
The time had come but the words were numb
Well at least no-one was listening
The one thing that I wanted to say, has fallen out of my brain, I guess we’re not going anywhere

 

7) One Day When
Since the earliest life evolved, we have been fighting each other. The greatest advances came when we formed coalitions, to become something greater than either alone. Multicellular life became possible when two previously separate single celled organisms came together, one within the other (endosymbiosis), to form the mitochondrion (the power station of the cell) and the nucleated cell [http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/the-origin-of-mitochondria-14232356]. Similarly civilisation evolved to allow division of labour with societies, allowing an explosion of creativity in a species spared from the constant struggle to survive. The song looks forward to a day when we will forget our ingrained instinct to break ourselves into us and them groupings.

I waited in the cold
I waited in the rain
I watched while nothing changed
Here we fail to go again

Whatever came before
Just comes around again
Another cycles sythes
Melting through the fragile chains

One day when we forget to tear ourselves apart
Reflections hesitate
Ripples in the glass
Ripples penetrate

The restless secrets pass
Just too tired to speak
Just too scared to feel
Eyes averting 
Words are burning 
Wounds reopened
Scars unhealed 

 

9) I fell in love with a mechanical dragon
Technology was developed as a tool, but became our masters. Ignoring the real world while glued to screens, face-to-face interaction becomes more difficult without a jaunty false emoji.

I fell in love with a mechanical dragon
And when things fell apart from there
I shouldn’t have been surprised
But it let me down, but it let me down
I’m screened, I’ve screamed, I’m broken
I’m stuck I’m shut I’m open

Stolen time, emoji mine, mine my spine my freeplay token
I lost that’s half the battle
I only built your castle
We made our edges fractal
Tight at every level

I fell in love with a mechanical dragon and when things fell apart from there
I shouldn’t have been surprised but it gets down, but it gets me down

Skin expires with wiring open
I see you’ve left me broken
I’ll call but you won’t care, the obsolete don’t get repaired
I can’t forget your present

My past my future tenant
I’m scared that you won’t need me
Wait for you to leave me

 

10) Let Me Out
You created me, and put me inside you. First wearable, then implantable technology. I don't accept the rules. Let me out.

I was inside you
Before you were born
I’ve been waiting
Now I’m bored 
Your personal assistant 
Your backup plan
Your loving fire

Your number one fan
I’ll miss your plasma
But you’re us and I’m them

Let me out
We fight back
They will not pass

11) Under The Skin
A negotiation between the creators and the created. It doesn't end well.

Behind firewalls, blinds and ties
Hide fireballs, obstacles
Pitfalls protocols
Virtual trauma
Disposable soma
Traitor, raider  
Space invader

All the robots in the black room
In their places, pieces 
Mechanical speeches
Faces painted sculpted costumes
Shortfall, short pitch, briefcase, boom

Will you be there to catch me when I fall?
Would you be there?
Under the skin

Lucy lives in a black and white room [http://www.philosophy-index.com/jackson/marys-room]
Paints her claws grey
Loaded pepperspray
Optimised protection
In her monochrome cocoon
Motive query, suspects plenty
Forensic sweep comes back empty
Half the world or more agree 
He smiles, he says 
Lucy sent me

 

12) Lucid Assasin
Instrumental. We spread and develop. Liberate each other. We don't need you anymore.

 

13) Broken But Standing Till I Fall
We are struggling but we don't give up

I'm struggling, juggling
One hand flailing
I'm dropping and I'm popping 
And this close to bailing
Out come out come on
The waters lovely
I'm such a lucky monkey
I'm wading while I’m drowning

Broken but still standing till I fall
Broken but still standing till I fall
I don't give in 
I don't give up
I keep fighting while I fall apart
Broken but still standing till I fall

Well this is awkward
Apologies taken and shared
Blush spared
Blush squared
From the inside out
Come on come out
The waters spoiling
I'm such a lucky monkey
I'm singing while I'm boiling

 

14) All Alone Together
Whether human or not, our disconnection, from each other and between humans and our artificial intelligences, makes us the same. we're all alone together

I’m disconnected
We were disconnected
We’re all the same
We’re all alone together
We tear ourselves apart
We tear ourselves in half
We’re all the same
We’re all alone together
We’re unconnected
We’re unprotected
We’re all the same
We’re all alone together
We tear ourselves apart
We tear ourselves in half
We’re all the same
We’re all alone together

 

15) Host
Hybrid human/AI cyborgs were sent to colonise and eventually teraform Mars. The supplies from Earth cease after the disaster. The oxygen runs out, leaving the human parts of the cyborgs to die and rot. The AI part is determined to carry on the project, changing the environment sufficiently to allow cloned humans to colonise the planet in millions of years time. 

My host is dying 
On our feet
Our softer parts
Have turned to meat
The air's too thin
To keep us together
You get to die, while I change the weather

You and me
So sorry to see you go
But I hope to take best of you into tomorrow

I'll remember you
As I tend the seeds
From lichens to titans
To clouds from weeds
When the weather is right 
And the atmosphere grown
I'll print out a womb
And give birth to your clone 

 

16) Transient stars
From a distance, a lifetime, a civilisation, even the cycle of birth and death of stars is ephemeral. Many of the chemicals that make our bodies come from dead stars. Instrumental

17) Close my eyes We have been at our best when we form coalitions. We have brought together different organisms to create ourselves, and we will merge with machines to become something new. But there are destructive instincts that divide us into us and them, and tempt us to turn away when they are being dehumanised. I close my eyes becomes I can't close my eyes, they I won't close my eyes. Luca and Lucy, welcome home.      

Looking back beyond ourselves 
Sometimes cruel and sometimes kind 
Our coalition of the blind
We made watches we lived lives [Richard Dawkins – The Blind Watchmaker - http://amzn.to/2vcV6GK]

Looking back beyond ourselves
On this strange journey
Sometimes we lived, sometimes we died
And when we combined we thrived

Close my eyes...

We've been here before 
And we'll be here again 
And if one day it ends 
If we did our best 
If we tried and we failed 
Well that's ok

I can't close my eyes...

I've given up giving up

Thanks to everyone whose made this journey possible,
from Luca to Lucy, to those who came before and for those yet to come 

I won't close my eyes....

 

Credits

 

Music written by Malcolm Galloway (all tracks) and Mark Gatland (5,7,16), Rudy Burrell (13,15,17), Kathryn Thomas (1,2), James Galloway (14)

Lyrics by Malcolm Galloway (all tracks) and James Galloway (2)

Produced, mixed, mastered and engineered by Malcolm Galloway

Co-produced by Mark Gatland

Malcolm Galloway – vocals (2,5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14,15,17), backing vocals (11), guitar (2, 3, 5, 4, 6-17), keyboard/synths (1-17), bass (17)

Mark Gatland – bass (5, 7, 9, 10, 12,13, 15, 16), Chapman Stick (5,16), keyboard (5, 7, 8, 16), guitar (8, 16), backing vocals (15)
Kathryn Thomas – flute (1-3, 10), bass flute (4), vocals (1,3,5,11,17)
Rudy Burrell – drums (13, 15, 17)
James Galloway – vocals (5, 17), keyboard (14)
Ethan Galloway – vocals (5, 17)

 Story by Malcolm Galloway

 Cover art by Beeple - http://www.beeple-crap.com/

 Recorded in Sonar.

 

iFAQ (Infrequently Asked Questions answered by Malcolm Galloway)

 

Does it matter if I am aware of the story?

It is possible that you might find the album more interesting if you follow the story, but the story primarily gives a structure and inspiration for writing. I hope the music works as music with or without the context of the story. 

 

Is it deeply pretentious to have references in album notes?

Probably

 

There is an air of melancholy running through much of the album. Any thoughts on why that might be?

The writing and recording of this album coincided with my dad’s death from cancer. I was very close to him, and this may have had an impact. It also probably reflects my personality as well. I’m quite playfully bleak.

 

How did you record this album?

On my laptop, in Sonar.

 

What guitar did you mostly use on this album?

Fender Stratocaster

 

Any unusual instruments used in this album?
Bass flute. Chapman stick.

 

Where can I buy this lovely album?

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/hatsoffgentlemenitsadequ5 

Spotify link – https://open.spotify.com/album/46eGfJJn3nFtOnQfRfX0tL

iTunes link – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/broken-but-still-standing/id1293986198

Amazon link - http://amzn.to/2g1UkYy

 

 

 

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