Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate

Good evening one more time and thanks for sticking with me fellow progheads!  Moving into the February section of the 2016 calendar, my search for all things prog continues to shine a light on fresh, new, and unique music and artists taking root in the prog garden.  I extended my London stay an additional seven days so as to explore one such band that is unique in several ways...
Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate has a sound that roams through many sub genres of progressive rock; confining them to one area of the prog garden is not only impossible it would be unfair to the talents and abilities of the band's founder Malcolm Galloway.  But aside from their distinctive sound, Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate does a lot of "extra curricular" work and gives back to the community from which it draws...more on that later.  This tour through London I decided to not only dive into the sounds of Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate, but also peel back a layer of the onion and have a chat with the aforementioned Mr. Galloway, the mastermind behind the curtain. So a bit of a melange here as I intertwine an interview with a music review...

The prog buffet is the best place to start and a serving of "Head In A Jar" is the right antidote for what ails ya...  The vocals are piercing as the drums and guitar almost plead with you; keyboards slide through the middle like the creme brulee hiding under a layer of caramelized sugar...one pleasure after another.  There is a sense of urgency riding the under current here; I get a scent of Uriah Heep jamming with Atlas Volt on this cut.  Hats off Gentlemen is definitely forging their own identity...

Closet Concert Arena: First off, the name of the band...unique is an understatement.  Any back story here?

Malcolm Galloway: The band originally started as a vocals/guitar and flute duo with my wife Kathryn Thomas.  We had a gig the day before our youngest son was born and had to give a band name for the introduction.  I'd always had an image in my mind of Victorian gentlemen throwing their top hats in the air and shouting, "Huzzah!"; not because they think something is amazing, but because it is adequate.  It is also a playful reference to Robert Schumann's review of Chopin (hats off gentlemen, a genius).  I'm pretty self-deprecating so the name suits my personality.  But on the other hand it might not suit the sound of the music very well--and is poorly suited to Twitter.  Once the band name is written, most of the 140 characters are gone.

CCA: Malcolm, you are listed in the music credits as as either playing alone or with colleagues...is the band a full time gig for everyone involved or are you the driving force and bring others in for live performances and recording when necessary...in other words; who is Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate?

MG: I'm very fortunate in that I get to play with a group of outstanding musicians.  Our flautist Kathryn Thomas is a professional classical flautist who is regularly heard on the BBC with her wind quintet The Galliard Ensemble.  I met Mark Gatland (bass) in school; we have been playing together for decades.  Rudy Burrell (drums) is an extremely musical drummer and has an excellent ear for song structure.  Ibon Bilbao (guitar) is a much more technical/pyrotechnical guitarist than I am; his background is classic rock and metal.  Live we play in any combination of me solo or with one or more of my colleagues.  For recordings so far, it is initially me composing on a laptop.  Some tracks remain that way multi-tracked while others feature one or more of the band.

CCA: How long have Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate been around and how many albums on the resume?

MG: We've been going for about four years and released two albums; "Invisible" (about invisible disabilities) and "When the Kill Code Fails" (about artificial intelligence).  I have also released a couple of albums of contemporary classical minimalist music under my own name.

CCA: Your sound has flavors of jazz, metal, ambient, and classic prog just to name a few.  Who/what do you consider the biggest influences on your writing?

MG:  Pink Floyd/David Gilmour, Marillion, and Steve Reich are big influences for me.  In terms of lyrics I am inspired Philip K. Dick.

Time to give a listen to a song that wanders off the "standard" prog path; a piece with an electronic bent a la Tangerine Dream called "Freerunning."  The sci-fi connection hits you right out of the gate (thank you Philip K. Dick), and the pulsing drums carry the heavy-laden bass line and strong layer of guitar quite nicely. The terrestrial-like keyboards hover overhead and reign down like shards of crystal...Hats Off Gentlemen defies categorization with pieces like this.  Imagine Geoff Downes collaborating with Pat Metheny and a mellow Carmine Appice and you start to get a feel for this tune...

  
                   
CCA: You perform a lot of charity gigs and do a lot of fundraising for very worthwhile causes...what is the connection to this side of your music?

MG: There's a lovely atmosphere at an event where everyone has come together as volunteers to make something happen.  We put on an annual "Save The Children" fundraiser at The Fiddler's Elbow.  Even small donations can make a big difference to vulnerable children.  For example; it only costs about 50p ($78USD) for a sachet of rehydration medicine to prevent a child from dying of diarrhea. We've also done events for Ehlers-Danlos Disease charities (my link with that is I have the condition), Brain Tumor UK, and Marie-Curie.

CCA: You play regularly in London and the UK; any opportunities on the horizon to add to your frequent flyer miles? 

CCA:  We are exploring the possibility of playing gigs in France in 2017, and would be very happy to to explore other opportunities to perform in other countries.

CCA: What can fans expect from the band as 2016 progresses?

MG: Next we are on to playing in Camden's Dublin Castle on February 11th, while simultaneously working on our third album as well as the music for the comedy/horror feature film "Rock Band vs. Vampires."

 CCA: That is a fairly full schedule...

 CCA: If you could play a gig with anyone alive or dead, who would you be on stage with?

MG: That's tricky.  It would be lovely to do something with Steve Hackett, David Gilmour, or Steve Rothery; they are very inspiring musicians.  I'd quite fancy a jam with Eminem.  I am though quite spoiled already in having incredible and supportive musicians in my band--and very grateful for that.

Liner Notes time...As Malcolm mentioned earlier, in addition to himself on guitar, vocals, and keyboards, Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate will consist at one moment or another of Kathryn Thomas on flute, Mark Gatland on bass, Rudy Burrell on drums, and Ibon Bilboa on guitar.  Malcolm has shed some light on what drives Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate as well as what separates them from others in the prog garden.  More than simply music, this is a band with a cause--a worthwhile cause. 

What makes Malcolm and the rest of Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate unique is their understanding of the role the music plays in the bigger picture...and their ability to make the music a vision one can "see" with eyes and ears.  Hanging in the jazz/metal/ambient corner of the prog garden means there are few direct peer to relate to, but an incredible opportunity to expand on a point of view. 

The band's latest release is called "When The Kill Code Fails."  I found a gem quietly inserted into this concept album called "I Still Remember You."  The song opens with gentle drum and keyboards as a backdrop to painful vocals appealing to the emotions buried deep in a heart coming to grips with the reality of who/what he is.  The soft layers of sound continue throughout and belie a dark gripping pleading that leaps through the vocals.  Hats Off Gentlemen emit top notes of Marillion and Alan Parsons Project on this tune...I detect traces of Gentle Giant permeating the air as well.   



CCA: What else do you want the world to know about Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate?

MG: Our live gigs are fun and playful, even if the lyrics are quite dark--defiant rather than bleak. We tend to play our "rockier" tracks live.  If you join our mailing list you get a free mp3-
http://www.hatsoffgentlemen.com/index/.  We also have quite a few videos that showcase more of who we are at https://www.youtube.com/user/itsadequate, including some Lego animated music videos I did with my kids.  We are aware there is a lot of music out there, and we are extremely grateful to all those taking the time to listen to what we do.

And that in so many paragraphs, words, videos, and explanations, is Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate...or is it?  Being of the cynical variety, I tend to doubt that anything is as simple and obvious as it seems.  Here is a an up and coming band, tending its own little acreage in the prog garden.  Upon first listen you find a sound that is distinctive...coming from nowhere in particular yet bouncing through your prog consciousness like Tommy's pinball...stirring up images and emotions you weren't aware of prior.  That, my fellow progheads, is why I so enjoy the search for all things prog.   

The prog garden is quite lush with quality bands that push the envelope and musicians that push the genre in new directions.  It is not, however, flowing over with bands and musicians that understand the frailty of it all...that everything can be taken away in a second so best to enjoy the moment in the moment and give back what you can while you can.  Enter Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate and the prog world's axis tilts just a bit...you can feel the difference in the emotions; much like the difference between velvet and corduroy. 

One last music link for your enjoyment; "Solace."  The laser no sooner starts to read the disc than you pick up a Pink Floyd vibe...this is a song that will burrow deep into your emotional lock box.  The gentleness and innocence that lead you down a friendly path of ferns and moss slowly morphs into a dark trail fraught with uncertainty and suspicion.  Hats Off Gentlemen ride the pendulum back and forth from dark to light in a way that might have taken Edgar Allan Poe off his game. 

In addition to the links above, you can find Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate on Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/itsadequate and Twitter @itsadequate.  Purchase their music online at
http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/HatsOffGentlemenItsAdequate. After all, if we don't support those who fill the prog garden, the garden will cease to grow and expand...


So fellow progheads, we have traveled yet another tangent road in the prog garden.  Malcolm provided quite the glimpse behind the curtain, and Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate illuminates  a side of prog not often glimpsed--the human side.  Progressive rock is an outlet for so much, providing the artist the opening necessary to walk the listener into the labyrinth that is prog...so just relax, open your mind, and prepare to be transfixed...you're welcome...

...and the search for all things prog continues on its way...rummaging through the garden for still more as yet undiscovered treasures...until next week...

Review – Hat’s Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate – When The Kill Code Fails – by Progradar

When The Kill Code Fails cover

“The music industry is a strange combination of having real and intangible assets: pop bands are brand names in themselves, and at a given stage in their careers their name alone can practically guarantee hit records.” Richard Branson

So, is ‘Old Beardy’ right? To a certain extent, yes he is. You have probably gone out and bought an album, without hearing any of it, just because you know the band and like them. Their name imbues some sort of guarantee of quality, that you are pretty certain to be listening to a really good album. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule (in my case, the execrable ‘Van Halen III’) but this will ring true most times across the board.

Now, how many times have you looked up a band on Youtube, spotify or the like just because you liked the name of an artist you had never heard before? and, to flip it on its head, how many times have you ignored one because you hated their chosen moniker? We can be fickle when it comes to things like this and, because of our dislike of a simple rubric, we can be missing out on some rather excellent music.

No such chance with Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate, that is one brilliant band name and made me want to listen to their music immediately. Thankfully, I was not disappointed!

Malcolm Galloway photo by Emre Basala

(Photo by Emre Basala)

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate, a proggy, rocky, funky, defiant and sometimes poignant band from London, UK, is led by Malcolm Galloway, either on his own, or with his colleagues Kathryn Thomas(flute), Mark Gatland (bass), Rudy Burrell (drums) and Ibon Bilboa(guitar). Malcolm is a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist,  and part-time neuropathologist and medical school lecturer.

Their songs so far have been about invisible disabilities, artificial intelligence, and stuff like that.  Their first album, ‘Invisible’, was about Malcolm’s experience of invisible disability due to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Malcolm is happy to be interviewed about Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome to try to raise awareness of the condition.

“’When the Kill Code Fails’ is a fascinating expression of the angst and wonder of an AI as it learns to live. It’s science fiction rock: sometimes moody, sometimes serene, with a positive message – no AIs taking over the world here. If you ever wondered what music an AI would listen to, this is it.” – Dr Peter Bentley, Fellow and Honorary Reader in Computer Science at UCL.

Live by Jaz Dhillon

(Photo by Jazz Dhillon)

Opener and title track When The Kill Code Fails begins in a spaced out fashion with an electronica infused introduction before the vocals begin, all hesitant and low key. This song introduces the AI character, Vic, and how he offers to help defeat a virus that could cripple the whole world. It is edgy with crashy guitars and a funky rhythm section but it is Malcolm’s striking vocals that carry everything along in his role as storyteller. Fast paced, rushing headlong to a potential global disaster, it keeps you on your toes and begins the album in a very dramatic manner. Broken Wave is a stylish instrumental that represents the nascent aspects of our AI character floating in and out of focus. It is like a slumbering giant, the electronica inspired music washing through your consciousness. You can almost touch the tendrils of the recombined DNA that drifts through this musically created world, it is quite eerie and spooky. A sombre guitar and drums open up Layers, a hard rock driven track that deals with the awakening of certain iterations of the AI, specifically Vic, the first one to act as if he believes he is alive. The punkish vocals really give the song impetus and the impressive bass playing gives an ominous feeling, all in an Iggy Pop style. Throw in an uber cool guitar solo and it just drips intelligence and class as it flies along with reckless abandon.

Another instrumental, Connections sees Vic exploring and developing via the internet. Again, it is really sci-fi inspired and quite dramatic and, to be honest, creepy and wouldn’t have been amiss on the soundtrack to Bladerunner, bringing images of a dystopian future. It feels like an awareness that is waiting for something, brooding, not in any hurry as it knows it has Millennia ahead of it. Now onto an in your face and rock orientated track. Head In A Jar, is a metaphorical song about how Vic feels he was brought into the world and his unhappiness. A harsh, staccato riff and siren like keyboards open the track before the irascible, excited vocals begin. This is angst ridden and just drips with a snarly discord. You can really feel the bitterness that is flowing form our character, he’s not very chipper at all. Link is an electronic instrumental, the AI is exploring more of the virtual world. This track has a real 80’s synth feel to it, almost Kraftwerk like in effect with its retro-futuristic note.

Virtual

Vic is getting fed up with being repeatedly confused about what he is and that feel runs throughout the dark feeling Going Down. A really low down and rumbling riff spurs the whole song on, Malcolm gives his voice a touch of disquiet and disharmony and the real stylish touch is the flute of Kathryn Thomas that adds a tangible sense of dangerous gaiety. I Still Remember You is the longest track on the album and is real brooding, slow burner of a song. Vic gets a bit angsty that the person he thought he’d been married to for many years is actually a false memory created from stock photography images. He can intellectually accept that, but not emotionally. The low key vocal delivery and subtly haunting rhythm create a real melancholy atmosphere which is only slightly lifted by the impressive chorus. There is a real depth of feeling to the song, an underlying hopelessness that grabs at you and won’t let go in a real addictive manner. The balladic aura is only emphasised by the deeply moving guitar solo that comes alive towards the end. The slow fade at the close gives emphasis to Vic’s artificial memory of a person dissolving. We move on toVic’s acceptance of what he is on My Clockwork Heart and his belief in the substrate independence of consciousness. Jangly guitars and an insistent drum beat open the track before it runs off like a really good rock track. There are real similarities with fellow Brit proggers Traffic Experiment and an overall feel of a pared back singer/songwriter vibe running throughout the song. The rather excellent guitar solo, provided by Iban, adds a final coat of gloss to what is a short but sweet track.

Freerunning is a darkly compelling instrumental, Vic is running free and exploring his abilities. It gives me a feeling of being followed, chased even, by an unseen and unknown force and is quite chilling. SolaceVichas become aware of the threat to both the virtual and non-virtual world posed by the virus. He decides to do what he can to fight the virus. This song is a reflection on mortality and the lazy, soul filled guitar is a knowing back drop to our protagonist giving up his virtual room, and moving into a more more authentic and dangerous (but still virtual) reality. The vocals drip with a heartfelt emotion and this quite beautiful song leaves you just about drained. Powerfully stirring, it really does move you in many ways. Glass Lithium, the final instrumental, Vic has had his virtual chains unlocked, and is out in the wider internet, dividing himself to attack the virus. He subdues the virus, although it can’t be completely destroyed everywhere and takes on the role of a protector, diffusely distributed across networks, watching out for a resurgent virus. This track could have been taken straight off the soundtrack to The Matrix and reminds me of Rob Dougan, sleek, smart and stylish. The undulating keyboards and swirls of sound emanating from the synths light up the way in your own imagination, beguling and mesmerising.

This inventive and intriguing musical release comes to a close with AliveVic has saved the real world from the effects of the virtual world being virus-ridden (hooray) and has come to terms with his identity. He is confident that he is both alive, and passionate about experiencing life. A jazzy and retro feeling song with a funky guitar riff and cheerful vocals it really does bring things full circle. The uplifting, fast-paced chorus takes you on an animated jaunt and the tight guitar work on the solo is a joy to behold. There are touches of early Who amid the classically elegant guitar work and it leaves you on quite a high as this charming record comes to a close.

I love it when new music lands on my desk with no fanfare or previous knowledge. Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate may have a brilliant name but they also produce excellent music. Sometimes progressive, sometimes more rock orientated but, overall, it is an enthralling listen.

Read the story behind Vic and The Kill Code at this link and it will add even more layers of enjoyment to your listening pleasure:

The Story Behind When The Kill Code Fails

Album released 1st January 2016.

Buy the MP3 album from amazon

This is brilliant. Alan Parson, Floydian, and elements of Bowie, but also extremely original.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a rock opera. Almost a cross between 'I Robot' and 'Frankenstein'. Very intelligent and original. I am very proud to be able to play this on the show. 

Music has lost some great musicians this year, but in terms of music being released, if this is what we are in for this year, then sign me up.

[Comments on 'When The Kill Code Fails'].

It's difficult to classify the music of 'When The Kill Code Fails' given the range of different genres, which range from David Gilmour and Marillion for the progessive rock parts, to Brian Eno, Jean Michel Jarre or Tangerine Dream for the purely instrumental electronica tracks.

This is a beautifully crafted album. A lovely discovery - Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate is an original and engarging group. Despite it's diverse musical themes, When The Kill Code fails maintains a pleasing unity.

Translated extracts by Maureen Galloway. For full review in French, follow the link

Hats off Gentlemen It’s Adequate

Invisible

Review by G. W. Hill

This is unusual music, but then again, that’s an unusual name for a band. I wouldn’t say everything here is prog rock, but just about all of it is proggy. The mix of sound is sure to appeal to fans of classic rock the most. Although this album is a bit uneven, it’s all pretty good.

 

While I Still Can

Flute starts this. They launch out from there into a jam that’s part fusion and part hard rock. One instrumental jam on this makes me think of Santana a bit. Another calls to mind Jethro Tull a bit.

 

Me Again
Hard edged rock, this is a bit raw and rough around the edges. It’s part psychedelic garage band and part prog rock. I like the piano on the cut. The vocals leave me wanting a bit, though.

Frail Hurricane
This one really isn’t prog. It’s pretty much a metal cut more than it is anything else.

By the Water

I love this song. It’s slow moving and mellow. It lands between progressive rock and psychedelia. It’s very spacey.

All This Time
Another trippy tune, this is also part psychedelia and part prog. It’s more or less space rock, really. I dig the melodic guitar solo on this.

Wait for the Storm
More or less like folk prog, this benefits from the flute. It’s slow moving and mellow. It’s also very dramatic. The guitar soloing really brings a lot to the table, too. This is definitely one of my favorite pieces on this disc.

Can't Let You Go
Less proggy than some of the rest, this is still a cool song. It’s closer to an alternative rocker, but there are some intriguing changes. It’s a good cut, but not one of the highlights. The impassioned vocals do help, though.

Invisible
I like this song a lot. It’s another slower, mellower one. It’s trippy. It reminds me quite a bit of Hogarth era Marillion, perhaps blended with some RPWL and even a little Pink Floyd.

Hello
There is a cool electronic jazz groove going on here. There is a little voice (it sounds like a kid) as sort of a soundbite at times. This thing is really cool. Other than that spoken voice, this is an instrumental.

Just So Love You
This isn’t really very proggy. That said, there is enough jazz in the mix here to make this almost fusion. That comes closer enough. Overall, it’s a bluesy jam with a real jazz edge.

 

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate – WHEN THE KILL CODE FAILS:  Hardcore “jazzers” may not scrunch down on this great release as stridently as I do, but that’s only because they don’t realize that “energy” is the quality that gets an album review here!  Songs like “Freerunning” take me all the way back to bands like the ’60’s-era band “Touch“, which was one of my first (& most-loved) prog-rock bands.  “Hats Off Gentlemen” features Malcolm Galloway and colleagues Kathryn Thomas (flute), Mark Gatland (bass), Rudy Burrell (drums) and Ibon Bilboa (guitar), & the album, to be released in early 2016 is one you should definitely consider for purchase.  Of the thirteen songs, it was the title track, “When the Kill Code Fails“,  that I chose as my personal favorite, probably because of the slow build toward ultimate energy!  I give Malcom & his compadres a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for this stunning music; “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is 4.99/5.  

English prog-rock ensemble Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate have become familiar faces on the London live scene over the past few years, making regular appearances at venues such as The Fiddler’s Elbow and Camden Rock. October saw the release of their second full length record, When the Kill Code Fails, which tells the story of “an artificial intelligence construct trying to work out what it is and then saving civilisation”.

It starts with the frantic flutes and dazzling electronics of its title track, all of which establish an otherworldly ambience ahead of a soft serenade. Things progress pleasantly, maintaining a mellow mood until the guitars and vocals increase in vigour in the third minute. The result is a dramatic and endearing endeavour, before “Broken Wave” continues to exhibit theatrical traits through synths that sound like they’re from the score of a sci-fi show.

“Layers” begins with a laid-back beat amid sedate singing which erupts energetically during a forceful chorus. This is much more of a mainstream rock anthem, keeping keen throughout and making for a light but lively listen. “Connections” follows as a subtle instrumental effort, the air of which is extremely ominous all the way through to an intense electro-rock endeavour entitled “Head in a Jar”.

“Link” sprints off across animated electronics, before evolving into an assortment of smooth instrumentation on the way to the arresting riffs that begin “Going Down”. These are complemented by festive flutes ahead of a spirited serenade. There’s a fiery feel to the whole thing as invigorating guitars burn bitingly in the background.

“I Still Remember You” is a long and lackadaisical ballad that stays sombre and enticing for the entirety of its soothing seven and a half minutes. The funky feel of “My Clockwork Heart” is emphasized by the enthusiastic guitar work that that fills the void between the solemn stanzas. It’s all very relaxing ahead of the fast and foreboding synths of “Freerunning”.

“Solace” is another cool composition, consisting of penetrating riffs and subtle but sharp singing. “Glass Lithium” arrives next to act as an absorbing bridge to the upbeat bass of “Alive”. The energetic instrumentation that ensues speeds through a heartfelt harmony, which increases in energy for the cheery chorus. The result is an uplifting addition that brings things to a thrilling terminus.

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate have crafted a concept compilation that’s both ambitious and adept. Its riveting rock tunes are blended well with its cinematic instrumental interludes, working together to deliver a dynamic listening experience. Check it out on cdbaby.com now.

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate – When the Kill Code Fails

You can tell an awful lot about a band simply from the name emblazoned at the top of their album. You can pretty sure that The Horrors aren’t going to be putting out sugar sweet 90’s pop, and you just knew that Klaxons would be skirting the realms of intergalactic sci-fi indie, so when a band comes along named Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate, it’s a safe bet you’re going to hear some self-aware, intelligent, and poppy prog-rock.

Hailing from London, the occasional five-piece of Malcolm Galloway, Kathryn Thomas, Mark Gatland, Rudy Burrel, and Ibon Bilboa are regulars at the Fiddler’s Elbow, Camden’s Proud Galleries, and a handful of other leading London venues that are befitting their eccentric style. Since their debut album ‘Invisible’, a rock concept album surround Galloway’s experience of invisible disability due to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate seems to have gone from strength to strength, and ‘When the Kill Code Fails’ adds even more fuel to their fire.

Opening with an X-Files style cascade of tones, ‘When the Kill Code Fails’ quickly transforms itself from a light, flickering melody to a dark narrative about a disgruntled computer hacker. It’s a mix of delicate atmosphere and stirring rock vocals that introduces the album through a unique sound and sets a heavy precedent.

The band’s penchant for creating building atmosphere’s through escalating instrumentals continues throughout the album, becoming something of a hallmark of their sound, and with Galloway’s blues-tinged vocals folded amongst the growing melodies there are plenty of reasons to enjoy ‘When the Kill Code Fails’. A floating instrumental in the form of ‘Broken Wave’, the crashing percussion and defiant vocals of ‘Hear in a Jar’, and the poignant textures of ‘I Still Remember’ you combine to make the album a strong release, and it will undoubtedly provide thrills for days.

Almost simultaneously genre blending and genre defining, ‘When the Kill Code Fails’ is both a brilliant continuation of the band’s sound and strong declaration of their potential.

I was delighted to find this comment from the wonderful prog rock band Edison's Children (featuring Pete from Marillion and Eric Blackwood as vocalists and multi-instrumentalists, and including Neil Armstrong's son as part of the live band) on our video of I Still Remember You

"...a lovely song that again shows that not only is prog rock back... but it is doing some genuinely beautiful things. Hats off to you indeed gentlemen..."

Enormously honoured to have such a kind comment from a band of which I am a fan.

David Bowie, Brian Eno and Pink Floyd level prog rock. Cool.

Album Review: Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate – “When the Kill Code Fails” @itsadequate #MusicIsEverything

When I got an email that kicked off by saying “new Prog Rock and Electronica Artificial Intelligence themed album”, my initial reaction was something along the lines of “What on Earth is this?!”, before deciding I absolutely HAD to hear it! I listen to every song sent to me, but this was something that really intrigued me!

Malcolm Galloway photo by Emre Basala

“I Still Remember You” was the first song I’d ever heard by Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate. What immediately struck me is how confident this band are in their delivery. Mixing ambient, prog rock, trance, classical and electronica is no mean feat, but here all of those genres are connected by a barely audible thread. It’s as if nature intended it to be this way all along.

I am all at once fascinated and compelled to hear more, so my ears journeyed on to the band’s upcoming album, “When the Kill Code Fails”, available now digitally, with a physical release planned for 2016.

From the catchy yet thought provoking title track; traversing through the perfectly sublime trio of “Broken Wave”, “Layers” and “Connections”; manoevering carefully around the sharp bend that is “Head in a Jar” and crashing headlong into “Link”, the first half of this album has me travelling along a road I never want to end.

Continuing into the remainder of the album, the next song, “Going Down”, is something I almost feel like I’ve heard before; it’s got that kind of nostalgic rock feel. The lyrics portray a frustrated soul who can’t get out of a vicious circle within life. I think we can all identify with that at certain points of our own lives.

When The Kill Code Fails cover

Occasionally, this album conjours up an image of what would be produced if Bright Eyes and Jean Michel Jarre got together in a studio, injected with some Jethro Tull (now wouldn’t that be something!) and punctuated by grunge style guitar playing. Not an unpleasant thought at all!

Proceeding via the afore-mentioned “I Still Remember You”; navigating the hopeful and beautiful message of “My Clockwork Heart”, complete with bluesy guitar; roving around with “Freerunning” – a very groovy instrumental with hints of Metal – for company; taking an emotional wander with the sounds of my favourite track from the album “Solace” coursing through my mind – I’m not ashamed to admit that I welled up when listening to this.

Coming onto the final part of the wonderful exploration that is “When the Kill Code Fails”, I feel myself going into orbit whilst listening to the electronica masterpiece that is “Glass Lithium”. Finally, I reach my destination – “Alive” (again, I dig those Blues guitars).

“When the Kill Code Fails” covers so much musical ground, and I’m seriously impressed. If I had anything critical to say at all, it would be minor things such as… I’d like to hear stronger vocals and heavier drums in places. However, I’m being REALLY picky by saying those things, and it’s very much down to my personal taste, so can’t be construed as a failure in any way, shape or form.

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It may sound trite, but I genuinely feel as if I have arrived somewhere new. As it says in the last song on the album… “I want more”!

If you feel the same, check out Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate on their official website and reverbnation, and contact them via twitter and facebook. You can buy the digital album on cdbaby and amazon. Go on, take that trip. You won’t regret it.

 

As fans of the site will know I rarely cover Musical releases, mainly due to the fact I rarely get time to listen. However I thought I would make an exception since I am a fan of progressive rock, "Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate" is the unusual but brilliant name of the band created by Malcolm Galloway, (part-time neuropathologist and medical school lecturer)  either on his own, or with his colleagues Kathryn Thomas (flute), Mark Gatland (bass), Rudy Burrell (drums) and Ibon Bilboa (guitar). 

Malcolm sent me a copy of his upcoming Album "When The Kill Code Fails", and while I was doing some other work I put it on to listen in the background. The problem was the songs were so good, I kept stopping what I was doing, so that I could listen and enjoy.

When The Kill Code Fails, Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate's second album, is a science-fiction/artificial intelligence themed concept album. It tells the story of an artificial intelligence construct attempting to come to terms with finding out it isn’t real. It is musically diverse with progressive rock, classic rock, electronica, metal and minimalist influences.
Anyway this is a great album, and I encourage everyone to check out the band, follow the links at the bottom of the page, and if you like what you hear, go and buy yourself a copy.

Here is the video for one of my favourite tracks on the album "I Still Remember You"

Review Fix Exclusive: Malcolm Galloway Talks Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate’s New Album and More

Review Fix chats with Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate’s Malcolm Galloway, who discusses the band’s new album “When the Kill Code Fails,” his unique creative process and more.

Review Fix: How do you think your unique backgrounds affects your music?

Malcolm Galloway: I used to spend most of my working life looking down a microscope, but due to a genetic collagen disorder, this has become progressively more difficult for me. A few years ago I had to cut down to three days a week in that role, but more positively that lifestyle change gave me more time to pursue my musical passions. Both my experiences as a neuropathologist and my experience with a chronic invisible disability have affected my creativity – experience with challenging subjects and difficult situations. My first album, Invisible, was about invisible disabilities, which I suppose isn’t a typical topic for a rock album. A fair bit of my creative work is playfully bleak, although I’m told it sounds more defiant than miserable.

Review Fix: How was the album written? What inspired it?

Galloway: The album follows the story of an artificial intelligence construct that gradually becomes aware of itself, and deals with the issue of what consciousness means. I’ve always been interested in both science and science fiction, particularly authors such as Philip K Dick who question what ‘real’ means. My background in neuroscience also feeds into this. Does consciousness require a biological brain, or would a model of a brain, if sufficiently complex, produce something similar?

I hope that the music and songs stand on their own as well, so that if someone has no interest in philosophy of mind issues they will still enjoy the album, but hopefully there’s also something extra of interest for those who want to engage with the lyrics.

In terms of practically how it was written, I generally write in Sonar on a laptop. Often there is a small piece of lyric that pops into my head and seems natural to go with a melodic pattern that starts the song-writing process. Then the song evolves from there. Sometimes it’s the other way round, and it starts with a chord sequence or a riff, and the rest of the song follows from there.

Review Fix: What’s on your musical bucket list?

Galloway: I’d like us to keep building up our support, play more gigs, keep on recording. I’m pretty happy with what we are producing at the moment, and keen to keep up the momentum.

Review Fix: What inspires your style as a group?

Galloway: There’s a lot of prog rock influence in there – Pink Floyd and Marillion particularly. Also, there’s classic rock – Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Queen, and metal. My voice and a lot of the guitar playing is quite bluesy. I’m also very influenced by the classical minimalist composer Steve Reich.

Review Fix: What are your goals musically for the next year?

Galloway: Next year I’m hoping we’ll complete the comedy-horror feature film I’m co-directing with Raed Abbas. That features a lot of our music, and also includes me having a go at acting, as the slightly odd and not enormously practical singer/guitarist of an obscure prog rock band. This obviously was an enormous stretch… As well as the rock music in the film, there will also be more traditionally ‘film-music’ type bits that I’m writing.

I’m very keen to get on with writing and recording the next album, which will be our 3rd as a band. I should also be releasing a third album of my classical minimalist music, which I release under my own name.

Review Fix: Bottom line, why should someone check out your tunes?

Galloway: Well, I’d be very grateful, but that’s probably not an entirely convincing reason. Our style is quite varied, but if you like the idea of classic prog rock with an angrier edge, you might like our stuff. And if you like electronica, you might like the instrumental tracks between the songs.

Review Fix: What’s next?

Galloway: In the immediate future we’ve got our album launch event on December 3.

Then we’re putting on a Save The Children fundraiser at the Fiddler’s Elbow on January 7.

Then in February we’re playing at the Dublin Castle in Camden.

The physical CDs of the new album should be arriving from the pressing plant in the next few days.

We’re hoping to tour a bit further afield in 2017.

"Wonderful"

With the opening winds flourishing in your ears you will immediately be taken away to a land that hides in the dark recesses of you mind. The bass guitar resonates larger than this earth. Guitars jangle like the chains trying to be broken. You might just find yourself sliding out of you chair into an alternate dimension. The percussion work is far off in the background. This isn't your average rock band singing about wine, women and song.

Closing my eyes I see the gentle swaying of yellow tulips on a warm spring day with a  cold thunderstorm rolling in. As the blue skies fade to black and the lightning crashes Hats Off... take you on a journey that you will not soon forget. “Broken Wave” stirs the imagination of purity gone a rye with ominous synth work brooding over shimmering tones. This is definitely an album for the headphones. With so much to absorb and feel you won’t want to loose a note to ambient atmosphere. Small droplets of passion are transformed into notes creating rich waves of powerful sonic landscapes. This serves as a wonderful transition track into the cut “Layers”. Here on display is a traditional rock format. With vocals sung from the gut you can picture the mic stand having a hard time standing still.

HOGIA create a dynamic within their band that has elements which each have their own story, but yet come together in a beautiful tapestry. Drums lay a solid, thick beat with an attitude full of snap and wit. Bass guitar tones grind with the right amount of mid range pop. Guitars cut though the mix like an additional voice breathing the spirit of freedom in this song. Key work adds the extra elements of atmosphere that would the song lost at the gate without it.

Cutting back to more of an electronic vibe “Connections” make you feel as if you have been sucked into the Matrix where you are surrounded by a mass of people. Everyone is talking but you cannot hear a word. Ominous tones raise an uneasy feeling and you feel like you are in the middle of a trap that is about to be sprung. The flow and transitions of this piece make the sound which evokes a vision of a long curly haired red-head. It just sounds like trouble, but too good to look away from. Before you know it you are sucked in and cant get out.

Snapping you out of a trance with one crack of the snare, the song “Head in a Jar” wakes you back up and brings you into the true reality. Overdriven guitars rage like a fire at 500 degrees Celsius. The waves of fire dance and snake through this track as the bass notes do the best they can to tame the snake of fire. With power and precision they lock tight with the beats off the drum kit and cage the piece all together so that it doesn't get out of control. Vocals beckon to your better senses and plead for your attention. Melodies roll off the tongue like spikes of venom wanting to kill the lies in humanity flourishing today.

“Link” dives back into the electronic realm with an uptempo beat that makes you want to move, actually run. The high fluttering notes with make you feel like your feet are unaffected by gravity leaving you to be swung around by the bass clef work into a dance of sweat nearing a lust like nature.

Flute lines amoungst the slinky guitar tones in “Going Down” make you wonder which voice you should listen to.

HOGIA have great Rock n’ Roll facet to their being. You could almost imagine that if this band played solely traditional rock tones they would be a force to be reckoned with. The electronic journeys add an additional dimension to this release. The only downside is that the sharp back and forth between the two can be a bit confusing. With “I Still Remember You” they blend the two sides a bit and create a beautiful sonic sandbox to play in where you are surrounded by castles and pyramids. It’s not so much that the electronic element is alive here but the flow and burn transform the dynamics into something fresh and interesting. The phrasing in textures around the 3:12 mark are those of musical bliss. The audiophile side of my brain came completely unwound. As bass notes ring and reach for the sky in the song “My Clockwork Heart” guitars work to pull you up to a different plain where vocals lay out a story straight from the heart. I feel like I am walking a tightrope of clouds high in the sky. With a mild fear of falling this song winds and weaves across the heavens around the world. Just as in life you may fall, but with songs like this you can be lifted and transported away from the daily pains life can bring. One of my favorite cuts was the number “Freerunning”. It has a vibe that just brings true joy with an infectious beat, dazzling key work and bass notes that hit like a sledgehammer. The overdriven guitars do bring a bit of a metallic flavor to the song, but its a strong instrumental number that will make you feel like you mainlined a pot of coffee.

A blues guitar vibe takes center stage on “Solace” that simply sounds like a broken heart plugged straight into an amplifier. Drum work is rather subdued and allow the track to unfold into its own beauty. Keywork that frames it all in is right on point. Bass notes pulse like a heart trying to carry on. Like a graceful dancer this song will spin through your ears like poetry in motion. Vocals take the song over the top and give the guitar a true run for its money in the passion department.

“Glass Lithium” embodies elements that make you feel like you are being asked questions through music. If you can talk through musical notes I would check out this track. There is a brilliant discussion going on here.

With raunchy Rock n’ Roll on full display “Alive” has the gut, sweat and groove that will make the staunchest prude move. Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate have delivered an interesting release. I almost hear this as a double EP from two different acts rolled together and smoked releasing a “fire and ice” type pleasure. I can only wonder what kind of sensation would be had if the two vibes were married more closely in each song on the next release. Cause yeah, this is band that you will want to hear more from. I would recommend this to those that like Rock, Electronic, Industrial, Experimental and Progressive genres. When the Kill Code Fails truly delivers and this is code for, Get and listen to this now!

Awesome track [I Still Remember You]

I love stumbling across new music that gives you THAT feeling....and stumble I did, across “Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate” from right here in London. It was the track  “ I Still Remember you” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paeebAmU6EQ that first drew my attention with hints of bowie & pulp wafting through, I wanted to know more . Intelligence is something this outfit certainly have, songs crafted with credibility & not written purely to fit the mainstream top 20. 

Watford Observer:

I haven’t made it through the bands whole catalogue of lyrical genius yet but other tracks such as “Head In a Jar” & “My clockwork heart” had my ears dancing with joy. But You can find out more about them for yourself on their website :  http://www.hatsoffgentlemen.com/

Opening with some very gentle and relaxing guitar work, sat atop a soundscape is the title track from “Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate”. The track shows the continual growth of the band, pushing their boundaries, and it’s not too long before the gentle guitar takes on a Rock stance, as Malcolm’s vocals call out; “Carry Me”. This soon tails off back to the same gentle guitar work that opened the EP, and although this gentle calm is ruptured with the electric guitar and vocals; the two sides to the track marry up perfectly.

Followed by “My Clockwork Heart”, mirroring the theme of the EP’s cover; while the song conceptually follows the path of a virtual character who develops consciousness. It shows a thematic direction that the band seem to be taking; especially when you consider the previous EP, “Head In A Jar” and the forthcoming “When The Kill Code Fails”. However, as you get into the track it’s over and yet it is not a short track-just shy of 4 minutes – but you just want more of the story! The track resides somewhere between the soundscapes and electric guitar work of the opening “Solace”; with its gentle rocking sound you half expect their trademark flute work to appear. Even with the idea of this virtual character, there is more than enough emotion in the vocals; giving the track a very personal feel.

“Alive” starts lyrically, in the same vein and with a funkier rhythm it feels that the virtual character introduced in “My Clockwork Heart” is coming to life and embracing life. Musically the track has an old school Rock feel; but in a heavy way, and more in the way the guitars are uplifting.

Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate

The EP closes with a cover of ‘Comfortably Numb’. Now covers are always a mixed bag, and I like Hat’s Off, but covering someone as venerable as Pink Floyd let alone “Comfortably Numb’? You will either love or hate this! Personally, I was left with slightly mixed feelings, but it grows on you. It also ties in with the soundscape of the opening “Solace” from the later-sounding Floyd. As covers go, this is more of a tribute than a re-imagining, and Malcolm’s vocals carry it off exceedingly well.

As a follow up taster, the first 3 tracks will appear on the forthcoming ‘When The Kill Code Fails’. This EP nails it, and only makes me want to hear the album more- especially when tied in with “Head In A Jar”. 

I really enjoy your minimalist work - I got completely lost in Jewel Fish and Broken Wave.

Wow, that is a very nice track !

Fusing progressive rock, acoustic, blues and metal, a nice melting pot.

Modern indie prog-rock. This is outstanding music. The price for the album download is only 4.25! Seems like a crime, but this is going on my Buy It list. Show some support and do the same if you love it. (Review of Head In A Jar EP).

“When the Kill Code Fails is a fascinating expression of the angst and wonder of an AI as it learns to live. It’s science fiction rock: sometimes moody, sometimes serene, with a positive message - no AIs taking over the world here. If you ever wondered what music an AI would listen to, this is it.” Dr Peter Bentley, Fellow and Honorary Reader in Computer Science at UCL, leading international research in artificial intelligence, and author of ‘Digital Biology’.

 

 

An absolutely brilliant band. I've really enjoyed listening to this EP. 

(about Head In A Jar EP).

November sees the release of the album 'When The Kill Code Fails' and 'Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate' have produced this video for ' I Still Remember You' from it. Coming in at nearly 8 minutes,Malcolm Galloway's commanding vocals create a compelling piece of music.

 

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  • I Still Remember You
    Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate
    November sees the release of the album 'When The Kill Code Fails' and 'Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate' have produced this video for ' I Still Remember You' from it. Coming in at nearly 8 minutes,Malcolm Galloway's commanding vocals create a compelling piece of music.

"This is a wonderful track. I love that track, it is very very atmospheric and very emotive. I know the vocal may not be everybody’s cup of tea, it’s very raw, but that’s what I love about it. It cries out in that vocal, its almost like he’s  imploring you, beseeching you. I think it is such a stirring and moving vocal. I could listen to that all day, everyday, it’s wonderful. I will be playing more of their material as soon as I get my mitts on their new album”

When the Kill Code Fails is a 13-track concept album by British prog-rock band Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate, describing the rise of artificial intelligence, but deviating from the traditionally apocalyptic predictions, instead depicting a benevolent AI creation that learns what it is and then saves the world.

I know, right? Not your average “She doesn’t like me and I’m sad” or “She likes me and I’m happy” album.

This is some incredibly ambitious shit, especially considering nearly half the album is instrumental, relying on a Berlioz-esque nonlyrical narrative to carry the story. For example, the penultimate track “Glass Lithium” has the following album notes: “Vic has had his virtual chains unlocked, and is out in the wider internet, dividing himself to attack the virus. Both he and the virus can divide and evolve in response to the attacks and counter-attacks. Vic subdues the virus, although it can't be completely destroyed everywhere. He takes on the role of a protector, diffusely distributed across networks, watching out for a resurgent virus.”

Oh, right. That’s what I thought.

That being said, this album is really really fun. Listening to it a few times through while reading the album notes on the band’s CD Baby (which you can go to HERE) gave me a great hour and really captivated me, which doesn’t always happen with this kind of conceptual music.

The album isn’t mixed very well; lead singer Malcolm Galloway, who presumably leads the band, writing all the lyrics and shaping the theme of the album, has an awesome blues yell which unfortunately sticks out too prominently in the mix. The backing instruments are well played but too far away. Galloway really needs a loud electric guitar chugging away right next to his vocal.

You can hear the Pink Floyd influence right away; the lead guitar, played by either Galloway or the other credited guitarist Ibon Ibon, has the same effects and even technicality as David Gilmour, with his characteristic bends and pick scrapes. This is especially apparent in my personal favourite track, #11 “Solace,” which even has a few Santana influences in its opening. Galloway’s repeated “carry me” grows in energy every time, and the electric keyboard provides lovely atmospheric harmony.

When the Kill Code Fails is diligently conceived and passionately created, but a better mix/master would do it a huge deal of good. I’d be excited to hear new music from Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate. Until then, quench your thirst for some good old-fashioned conceptual prog rock here.

Score: 4/5

 

"Wow, was that a trip out and a half, loved it. Very passionate vocal. Really well done. It a great emotional delivery. Really cool song."

They are unique. I really like these guys.

Check out this brilliant London based progressive rock band.

Check out the awesome work of Malcolm Galloway

Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate : Head In A Jar (2014).

We've long been admirers of Malcolm Galloway's work with Hats Off and this EP release does nothing to change that view. It's an eclectic mix of tunes which transport you from soothing ambient moods through to an organic climax of sound in four short tracks.
Opening with the gentle 'Broken Wave' which ebbs and flows taking you to the Floyd-esque 'Glass Lithium' which could sit quite nicely on a Rick Wright album with it's haunting refrain and melody. The title track increases the pace and energy and we get out first, of two, vocals. 'Head In A Jar' pays homage to New York's Talking Heads with the punchy vocals and guitar work building up to the climatic 'Maggie's Farm' finishing with chaotic excess and ultimate beauty. If you've not experienced Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate, it's about time you did and this EP could be the perfect way to do it !

"Awesome"

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate

DSC03555 Hats Off Gentlemen Its Adequate

So why don’t you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about the band?

Hello, I’m Malcolm. I sing, play guitar and write songs in Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate. We are a rock band based in London, UK. We have five members – me, Mark Gatland (bass), Rudy Burrell (drums), Kathryn Thomas (flute) and Ibon Bilbao (guitar). Our live line-up varies from me solo to our full five-piece band.

We’ve been playing together for a few years. We released our debut album ‘Invisible’ last year.

 

What’s the story behind the band’s name?

I’m not sure it’s a great choice of name to be honest (and it was my fault entirely). It’s too long and a bit silly, but I had in my mind the image of Victorian gentlemen throwing their hats in the air about something being OK rather than because it was amazing. Sometimes it’s abbreviated to HOGIA.

 

What’s your musical influences?

Prog rock (Pink Floyd, Marillion), classic rock (Hendrix, Led Zeppelin), Steve Reich (minimalist classical music), blues.

 

While I Still Can. Can you tell us more about the song?
While I Still Can is a song about defiantly trying to do something, even if it is inevitably going to fail, and getting on with trying while you can. It’s based on my experiences of type III Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a genetic collagen disorder in which the connective tissues in the body are weak. It gives me a lot of chronic pain, and recurrent spinal and joint problems.

Didn’t you know that I could fly?
At least until I hit the ground
Didn’t you see me waving
When I went past your window?

Didn’t you know that I could fly?

I found out on the way down
Please forgive the intrusion
As I go down past your window

Flying fast
Falling faster
I didn’t know that I could fly until I hit the ground

While I still can
While I still can

 

How was it like the film experience and what’s the concept behind the video?

The filming experience was great. This was my first time in a film studio, and we loved it. The film was producer/directed by The Cowboy Surfers (directors Andrew Richards and Mike Carr). They were really supportive to work with and we had so much fun.

The concept of the video was created by Mike Carr. It’s about the setbacks and frustrations of a man on a journey to give a present to his partner. Although the story is different to the original inspiration of the song, the mixture of desperation, defiance and playfulness seems to fit nicely.

We were delighted that the Voice Of America network selected the video for their pick of the week’s best new music videos and broadcast it internationally.

 

How you guys feel about playing the Fiddler’s Elbow?

We are big fans of the Fiddler’s Elbow. They are great supporters of independent music. We regularly play there.

 

Rock Band vs. Vampires. How you guys feel about having your music played in this film?

The selection of our band to provide music for the soundtrack was almost certainly biased by me also being the writer and director of the film…

 

What can you tell us about the film?

Jeremiah Winterford is an old-fashioned vampire who finds himself awkwardly out of place in a modern world. Forced to move from his castle following a torching from his vampiric rival, Winterford and his surviving acolytes find themselves making a new home in Camden (London’s musical capital). Where better for a vampire to hide in plain sight?

Sorcerer’s Tower, an unsuccessful prog-rock band who find themselves have been booked to play at the re-opening night of a Camden venue, now under new (vampiric) ownership.

Armed with their instruments, can the band save their small number of fans?
www.fb.com/rockbandvsvampires

We are aiming at something like a cross between Spinal Tap and Shaun of the Dead in terms of tone.

It’s being made on an ultra-low budget by a team of enthusiastic volunteers.

We’ve got a crowdfunding page if it might be of interest – http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/rock-band-vs-vampires/x/4346671

 

Invisible. How was the recording and writing process?

I like it best when we are playing together as a five-piece, but for practical reasons (my colleagues are all busy professionals with other groups as well), most of the writing, recording and producing was done on my laptop at home, by me at odd moments here and there.

Usually I start with a small lyrical phrase which seems to fit a melodic fragment, or a chord sequence, and it builds from there.

 

How you guys came out with the title?

The album is about the experience of invisible disability. There are many people with medical problems which you can’t see from the outside.

 

Where did you guys get the inspiration from, lyrically speaking?
Almost all of the songs on the album relate to my experience of invisible disability, however I hope it’s not quite as dreary as that must sound. Some of the songs are defiant, others more bleak. The album ends with more cheerful stuff – my son wrote a blues song ‘Just So Love You’ which is on the album, and there’s an electronica piece with a sample of my son saying ‘hello’. It’s like a wake-up from my kids not to be too introspective.

 

So are you guys planning on hitting the road?
Our next gig is on Halloween (31 October 2013) at the Fiddler’s Elbow, Camden, London. We’re doing a fundraiser for the film. We’ll be playing with guests including the music producer and songwriter Guy Barnes, who is playing Jeremiah Winterford in the film. Between acts we’ll be screen short comedy-horror films.
https://www.facebook.com/events/197262327121585/

 

What’s next in HOGIA’s world?

There’s the film, then back to working on our next album, Clockwork Heart. It’s about artificial intelligence. About half of the songs are pretty much written for that.

 

Where can we find more about your music?

We’ve got a mailing list and some free downloads at www.reverbnation.com/itsadequate
We’ve got various videos at www.youtube.com/itsadequate
We’re on FB at www.fb.com/itsadequate
and twitter @itsadequate

Our album is at –
https://itunes.apple.com/album/invisible/id585185363

 

Glass Castle recording Artist - Hat's Off Gentlemen It's Adequate - Invisible

I just received the debut release, Invisible, from Hat's Off Gentlemen It's Adequate. This is no blues recording but it is adventurous and interesting. The recording opens with While I Still Can, a track that reminds me of early San Francisco rock. This has all of the clues, free flowing jamming, electric guitars and flute. The band is made up of Malcolm Galloway (vocals/guitar/keyboard) Kathryn Thomas (flute) Mark Gatland (bass) Ibon Bilbao (guitar) Rudy Burrell (drums - live). Me Again has a bit of a heavier tone sounding more like what David Gilmore may have sounded like if he had been born in Seattle. Frail Hurricane has a much more of an arena rock sound with a little Billy Idol or David Bowie mixed in and overall is not my favorite, but there is something about this that catches my attention. Forgive me but I find myself singing along... Blow Me... Blow Me... Blow Me Away. By The Water is a solemn track in the vein of the earliest of King Crimson tracks ... yes I hear the clean Hiwatt guitar sound that could easily be compared to David Gilmore. It's a cool track.All This Time takes a pop direction maybe toward Chris Isaak. This could easily be the big seller on the recording with its subtle melody and contained vocals. Wait For The Storm is a quiet folk like track with drums, light guitar and flute, almost reminiscent of early Traffic. Interesting. Invisibletakes a definite hint from some of the earlier Pink Floyd stuff with quiet background and prominent guitar work but in this case more prominent vocal track. Hello is a straight up electronica track. If you like electronica for electronica sake... that means, if you're not going to Jeff Beck it... this is what you get. It's enjoyable and a cool groove. Just So Love You completes a quirky but interesting recording. This track opens with a Steely Dan riff but turns into the simplest of soulful pop tracks. Overall this is an interesting recording with a little something for everyone.

 If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band!  ”LIKE”

“One of the most original bands I've heard in years.”

- John G. Cowan, Museboat Radio A+R

“Soaring guitars, rock vocals, and rock flute, I've still got a smile on my face after listening to 'While I Still Can'. Absolute Class!'”

- Stevie Bee, SM Radio

Cross-Genre Song Builders from London - I think the reason I like these guys so much is because when I first listened to "While I Still Can," I was instantly brought back to prog rock haze of the mid-1970s. Don't get me wrong; I say that in a most reverent way. The bluesy vocals, the wailing guitar solos, the crashing percussion, and damn, that seriously rockin' flute (Flautist Kathryn Thomas of the award-winning Galliard Ensemble is to credit here - making it impossible not to elicit sweet Jethro Tull flashbacks)… it's all just so comfortingly familiar. And yet, modern production values and all the musical history and life history since that time influence their sophisticated sound. HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE may feel at first like a kind of a Rip Van Winkle story, but they're fully acclimated to the present day.

The main inspiration for songs on their recently released record, Invisible, is singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Malcolm Galloway's experience of living life with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. It is a condition that, while not visible from the outside, can cause great distress and anxiety for the sufferer. 


  
WHILE I STILL CAN 

"Didn't you know that I could fly, at least until I hit the ground. /
Didn't you see me waving, as I went past your window?"

Though the lyrics can at times be rather dark and depressing, the music feels defiant and celebratory. In quieter moments, it's very pretty. Though I felt the need to immediately trumpet the unabashed prog rock of this fine band, I must say that they are not strictly beholden to any style. The songs on this debut album also dip into some acoustic Folk ("By the Water," "Wait for the Storm"), Classic Rock ("Can't Let You Go," "Me Again"), Blues ("Just So Love You") and even Electronica ("Hello"). They regularly perform around the London clubs, and hopefully elsewhere very soon. 

Singled Out: Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate

   
06/12/2012 
.


Today Malcolm from Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate tells us about the deeply personal story behind their new single "Me Again". Here is the story:

Thanks very much for inviting me to write about about the process of making our new single, 'Me Again'. I greatly appreciate the interest in my music, and the opportunity to try to raise awareness of the disease that the song is about.

The Lyrics The inspiration for the song started with a phrase from a friend's Facebook post on an Ehlers-Danlos syndrome – "I just want to wake up one day and be me again".

I thought the phrase reflected the frustration of the condition very well, and also hinted at the exhaustion that often comes with the condition. My friend was very happy for me to use the phrase in a song.

The phrase is the basis of the chorus, and the rest followed from that. The verse is very simple lyrically – "So tired, I can't explain. So tired. So cold. Sucking me down." Initially there were more verses, but the song was getting too long at over 6 minutes, so I trimmed it back.

Many of us who have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome look healthy, but experience chronic pain and pain related exhaustion, which can lead to a lot of misunderstanding from those unfamiliar with this little-known disease.

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a group of genetic diseases in which people have abnormally weak collagen. Collagen is an important structural protein providing strength to joints, cartilage, skin, intestines, and other parts of the body. Due to the weak collagen, things that many people would take for granted, including lifting, carrying, and travelling can be very difficult.

I have type III (hypermobility-type) Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (also known as joint hypermobility syndrome), and appreciate that I am fortunate to have a form of the illness that isn't life-threating, however chronic pain, joint degeneration/premature arthritis, and the exhaustion of managing with chronic pain can be challenging, and I'm very appreciative of all the support I get from my family.

Hypermobility-type Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is almost certainly underdiagnosed - it took about 20 years for me to get my diagnosis. People who are hypermobile ('double-jointed') and have unexplained chronic pain should ask their doctor whether they might have the condition. Although there aren't curative treatments, getting a diagnosis makes a big difference, as at least you understand why you hurt.

I've written several songs about type III Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, exploring different reactions to the challenges of invisible disability (While I Still Can - here and Wait For The Storm -here ). I hope to help raise awareness of invisible disabilities. I also hope that the songs can stand on their own even if you don't know what inspired them.

The Music 'Me Again' is just me multitracked. It's got piano, bass, chugging distorted rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, and some twiddly lead guitar bits at the end. The guitar is a Strat, the acoustic, bass and keyboard Yamaha's. The electric guitar was recorded through a digitech RP250. I use Sonar X1 for recording. The vocals were recorded at Camden Recording Studios, London, UK. The rest was done on a laptop at home.

Listen to a free stream of 'Me Again' here and you can buy it on iTunes right here!

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London

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UK
Please tell us more about you
Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate

Genre – Rock / Acoustic rock
Members – Malcolm (guitar, vocals, bass, keyboard) and Kathryn Thomas (flute), with Rudy Burrell (drums), Mark Gatland (bass), Ibon Bilbao (guitar)
Location – London, UK

The core of Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate is a flute, guitar and vocals duo. The guitarist/vocalist also performs as Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate as a solo artist and with guest performers. Flautist Kathryn Thomas is also a member of the Galliard Ensemble (www.Reverbnation.com/galliardensemble), and a classical chamber musician and soloist (including Proms and concerto soloist and The Times ‘great hope for the future’). As a classical musician Kathryn records for Deux-Elles Classical Recordings (www.deux-elles.com). Both Malcolm and Kathryn have independently been broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate have been broadcast in the UK and USA.

Has Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate perform original material and covers, depending on the event, with the flute often taking on the role usually associated with a lead guitar.

Recent gigs include performances in festivals, an art gallery, rock venues such as the Fiddler’s Elbow, The Bowery, Kiss The Sky, The Comedy, Water Rats and Camden Rock, and street parties.

Influences include Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Marillion, Bob Dylan and Steve Reich.

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When you do finally 'drop', what song would you like played at your funeral?
Love Comes To You (a song written by our 6 year old son)
Hats Off Gentlemen, It's Adequate

A little while back we did a preview/mini review of “Hats Off Gentlemen, It’s Adequate” EP “It’s Me Again”, they have just released their debut EP “Frail Hurricane”.

This EP is in the same vein as their single release, in as much as their is a rock sound provides the backdrop to some fairly bleak lyrics and imagery. This is made all the more personal by the nature of the songs, and how they relate to Malcolm, the songwriter and performer, who has Type III (hypermobility type) Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

The most noticable difference is the shift from an acoustic-folk-rock sound to one that is more rock orientated on the opening track “Frail Hurricane”, with a dose of prog thrown in for good measure! The rock element is most prevalent on the first track “Frail Hurricane”.

Hats Off Gentlemen, It's Adequate

But there is a sharp change in temp for “By The Water”, a slow almost ethereal track, with it’s guitar work sounding like some of the solo offerings, or even “Wish You Were Here”, from a certain Mr. Gilmour. The tempo picks up for “Me Again”, although only slightly as a distorted guitar kicks in, harking back to the rockier feel of the opening track. Whilst “Wait For The Storm” takes on a more folk feel, which is helped by the use of a flute. Giving the track an almost haunting feel providied by the flute accompaniment, and accompanied by great guitar work. Closing with “All This Time” the journey comes to an end. Again, with some great guitar work, and mellow under current, and those ever pertinent lyrics.

Their is free streaming of the EP from http://www.reverbnation.com/itsadequate, and it is available to buy from iTunes.

Hats Off Gentlemen, It's Adequate

The whole EP has a fairly bleak outlook, but when this is noted in context with the Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome it all becomes a lot more poignant. In fact difficult review when you get caught up in the emotion trying to review. For this reviewer it is music with real heart and meaning. As I mentioned in our other review, I have not seen “Hats Off” live, but I reckon they are unmissable.

If you like your folk rock rather rocky, rather folky, rather acoustic, possibly prog’y, as well as dark, bleak, and 100% heart felt, then they are well worth checking out. Hell, do it anyway!

…also loving the cover art;

The Queen’s Scarecrow, (c) Kinga Britschgi. Used with kind permission of the artist. To see more of Kinga Britschgi’s stunning art visit –
http://kingabrit.deviantart.com/gallery/.

(but not sure the Lego based video conveys the bleak nature of the material very well!)

 

Links
http://www.reverbnation.com/itsadequate
http://www.facebook.com/itsadequate
http://www.myspace.com/itsadequate

Words by Jon.

Education by Wikipedia;

Ehlers–Danlos syndrome
Name: Hypermobility
Number: Type 3
Description: Affects 1 in 10,000 to 15,000 and is caused by an autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive mechanism. Mutations in either of two separate genes (which are also involved in Vascular EDS and Tenascin-X deficiency EDS, respectively) may lead to this variant. Joint hypermobility is the hallmark of this type, with less severe skin manifestations. Joint instability and chronic musculoskeletal pain are common in this type.

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate LP review of Invisible

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate is set to release their debut  10 track LP – Invisible – in early December 2012. The release is a perspective of living life with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and ranges across the solo acoustic to the full line-up rock and roll band.

Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate

Opening with While I Still Can which begins with the hallmark flute before evolving in to a strong jazz rock beat in which the flute alternates breaks  with the guitar, epitomising precisely why Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate is such an intriguing out-fit.

Following on is Me Again which is a darker piece bringing in piano to the fused guitar to layer a melancholy to the track which was inspired by living a bad day with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

Next is Frail Hurricane which is a remastered version of the title track of the first EP that skittles along with a scintillating guitar scything out of the speakers. A delightful vocal and instrumental combination.

By The Water slows the pace to a folk number with an evocative piano framing a track that registers on the bass notes with a continual backdrop of humming synth that plays a shadow like falling rain across the piece and the song works particularly well for me.

Raising the tempo, but not the sentiment All This Time is a reflective on social mores. Whilst the material may be of melancholia the compositions are something of an emotional a catharsis.

Wait For The Storm is once again hauntingly flute laden and a superb example of how to use instruments, levels and lyric in harmony to make a powerful imagery.

Can’t Let You Go emerges as an acoustic piece, though develops in to more rock centred number and whilst there is a certain similarity in vocal with Ian Curtis across much of Invisible – on this track is it highly prominent.

Invisible the title track is a progressive rock piece that does as you would expect progressive rock to do – last quite some time – it extends to over seven minutes of exploration in to space before inverting back to earth with a crumble.

Hello is specifically placed to give a lighter vein towards the end of the LP – focussing on what is achievable, rather than introspective critique.

Concluding with Just So Love You which shifts to a blues number that retains that up-beat momentum.

Invisible is a showcase for the memorable compositions and spread of musical styles which capture life from the inside of the soul and marks a strong debut LP for Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate.

For more about Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate.

Invisible is available on Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate*

Join the indie bands blog on twitter for more of the best new releases.

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate is a London, England, based Psychedelic Rock out-fit.

Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate

Having had one of my not infrequent head exploding moments, Malcolm kindly replied back to me with some additional information and I am pleased to have taken the time to settle down and hit the play button. It may have been early May that I was first contacted, however given my piteous organizational ability – that isn’t too lengthy a delay.

The interesting part of the material is the use of a diversity of instruments which permits Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate cover a breadth of delivery styles. Tracks can be rolling guitar laden pieces, or more psychedelic floating sounds and with the flute, there is the ability to zip in to a different sound altogether.

Oozing musical competence, the band is able to deliver across the stage they cover with equally well composed tracks. The vocal is an interesting area, on the off sounding tremulous and slightly wrong, as you take the time to listen to more tracks this vocal style ceases to become a weakness and is in fact a real strength to the tracks.

Review: Hats off Gentlemen It's Adequate - Wait For The Storm [Single]

Review: Hats off Gentlemen It's Adequate - Wait For The Storm [Single]

Self Released | "This combination works quite nicely indeed"

Last Edited by: Ffion Davies March 22nd, 2012.

Is it classic rock? Is it ccoustic rock? Well, what it definitely is, is a flute, David Gilmore-esque guitar solos and lyrics reminiscent of War Of The Worlds weepy track 'Forever Autumn'. Oh and a downbeat vocal like a depressed Cat Stevens.

Right, if you are still reading this and haven't ran for the alternative hills yet, then, well done and DON'T. Sit back, click on the video below, relax and surprise yourself at the fact that this combination works quite nicely indeed.

Now that you've watched and listened, sit back again and be warmed by the fact that if you were to buy this track you will be helping Hats Off...'s (Flautist Kathryn and Multi-instrumentalist Malcolm) nominated charities of Ehlers-Danlos Support UK Save The Children, as any and all income from online sales is to be split 50/50 between them.

So, there you go, classic rock? acoustic rock? Who cares when it's good music for a good cause.

GO BUY IT.


Read more at http://hangout.altsounds.com/reviews/145578-review-hats-gentlemen-adequate-wait-storm-single.html#KjuXWlfybPOAJJeq.99

“And the #1 vid/song spot is the London band Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate's song "While I Still Can" the multi-instrumental band masters the jazz, blues, and rock genre; creatively rolls it up and delivers a sound all their own that might make ya wanna dance!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZM3SQ_FdiI”

 

“Check out this GREAT acoustic rock duo out of London, UK Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate! Not only do they make GREAT music, they also constantly give back with their many charitable events all over the UK. With cover songs that do the originals much justice and original music that just moves you, Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate are definitely on the rise and doing great things for not just the music industry, but for LIFE in general!”

“Rarely does a piece of music make your hairs stand on end and send chills running down your spine, whilst passing the message about the illness in such a beautiful and poetic manner. The latest single released by the London duo ‘Hats off Gentleman, it’s Adequate’ has the magic to do just that. It starts with a haunting guitar part by Malcolm, and a beautiful flute section by Kathryn Thomas, which goes with the moving lyrics, with Malcolm pondering if he should “Wait for the storm”, with the bass and drums in the background reinforcing the dark atmosphere, before evolving into a Dire Straits influenced guitar solo, with a perfect neat sound that still makes sure that the message within the song is passed on a very serious illness. 5/5”

“London-based duo Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate have just released their first visual for their brand-new single, 'Wait for the Storm'. All online sales of this new single will be used to benefit the non-profit organizations 'Save The Children' and 'Ehlers-Danlos'. Armed with a flute, a guitar, and a pair of fantastic vocals, Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate bring a fresh new flavor that we had to share. You can find links to several media outlets in the video below, where you can hear the latest from this featured ground-breaking group.”

"A great blues voice"

The Notty Wood Show (US radio show)

“Check out Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate's new single 'Me Again'!!!!! ITS AWESOME!!!”

“Excellent and atmospheric music! :)”

“A beautiful song!! Everything lyrics, sound, vocals, recording, production is fantastic!! wow [about 'Invisible'] ”

- Chrissy Sinn, MuseBoat Radio (presenter)

“These guys are REALLY good ! [about 'Me Again' demo]”

“Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate goes from pure rockin' style, to the ethereal, Pink Floydesque style. I give it an A+ on style, heart & soul. Listening to this band is pure pleasure!!”

- Mary Dunham King, MuseBoat Radio (presenter)

“You guys are just AWESOME”

Audio Pollution Promotions 

“Classic rock fans of all kinds will really enjoy HOIAs music, remarkable for its impassioned vocals and aching lead guitar wig-outs delivered by multi-instrumentalist and band-leader, Malcolm. The influence of classically trained flautist Kathryn Thomas on the odd track brings to mind Jethro Tull - and one can certainly have a lot of fun playing 'spot-the-infuences' when listening to HOIA's music, which revels in being caught between a mellow atmospheric rock and a hard place - the latter being a garage or a rock venue. Their home-made videos and the occasional involvement of Malcolm's young children in these, and the music, is also charming.”

- Toby Burton, Rock Till You Drop (founder)

“'Brooding yet brilliant' ... 'outstanding production' [about Wait For The Storm]”

Music Review Unsigned

““Wait for the storm”, the debut single by London based group, Hat’s off gentlemen it’s adequate, can only be described as a beautifully melodic and heart felt piece of music. The prevalent and haunting flute on “Wait for the storm” creates a mix of melancholy and beauty, which draws a sense of peace and tranquillity not often found in music. ...it’s very evident from listening to “Wait for the storm” and other tracks that they have an excellent sense of musical chemistry that I’m sure will stand to the group in making them a huge name on the British music scene. The track, which has already received huge press coverage and critical acclaim was released in aid of Save the children and Ehlers-Danlos support UK. To keep up to date on all things Adequate, including gig dates and upcoming single releases visit So don’t “Wait” to download this amazing piece of music. I’m tipping my Hat to the guys from London and giving them a more than adequate 6/6. Revi”

“GREAT MUSIC ...... brings awesome people together and they accomplish couraqeously! have a kick ass night guys!!!”

Notty Nation 

“The Interval Machine's Featured Artist of the Day is Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate, a London-based acoustic rock duo featuring flautist Kathryn Thomas and Malcolm (vocals, guitar, keyboard).... The song we are featuring is titled 'By The Water' -- an ambient song that is amazingly haunting and deeply emotional. I really love this song so much. Excellent job!”

“Nice Dudes I Dig!!!”

“They've Done it Again - 5/5 Yet another song that would make Pink Floyd seem like amateurs in their latest single release ‘Me again’. Main man Malcolm once again gets all credit where it’s due from the spooky vocals and the highly influential sounds of Pink Floyd through the track with the mellow sombre of the distorted guitar and pounding drums that noodle along with a clean piano noodling away in the background before a powerful chorus. I have heard of songs that make you want to cry and this is probably one – especially going towards the outro which has some out-of-this-world guitar licks spread about with Malcolm resorting to shouting what is quite possibly my best lyric of the year “I wanna wake up and be me again”. Again where credit’s due – this is one band not to underestimate. It may only comprise of only two people but with ambitions aiming as high as what I have heard, there’s going to be no stopping them.”

“Acoustic + flute. These guys win. If you're into something different, they're definitely, certainly worth a listen. Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate, gogo!”

 “I am personally loving their music!!! They are a MUST listen!! So what are you waiting for? Go see for yourself and show them LOTS of love!!”

“Wow :)) great music! I Like it a lot..”

Positive Chillout 

“Nice! Now that is definately a relax and wind down song..... we like it!!! [about 'By The Water']”

“Man! you guys are good!!!! ”

Hats off Gentlemen It's Adequate — When the Kill Code Fails 

by Jon Davis, 2016-02-12:

When the Kill Code Fails Cover art

Hats off Gentlemen It’s Adequate, in addition to having an unusual (and awkward) name, have an unusual modus operandi – which some listeners might also find awkward. When the Kill Code Fails presents a series of progressive rock inflected songs interspersed with instrumental pieces combining electronics with other instruments. While this may further the concept (a story about artificial intelligence), it does serve to interrupt the musical flow. An album like this, so tightly tied to not just a concept, but a story, is best experienced as a whole, but just as at least some individual tracks can be pulled out of The Wall (for example), at least some of these tracks work on their own, though of course the lyrics might be out of context. (One could argue that lyrics are always out of context, given that a listener never knows exactly what the writer was thinking, but that’s a philosophical question without practical ramifications.) Tackling the two musical aspects of this album separately, the vocal tunes are a variety of modern progressive rock that reminds me of Parallel or 90°. The songs are accessible without being simplistic, and the arrangements flow nicely. The instruments are all well played, with the guitar generally being the standout; the occasional use of flute is very nice. Keyboards are mostly in a supporting role except on the instrumental tracks. Malcolm Galloway’s voice is expressive in a somewhat strained way that could probably benefit from a little judicious application of reverb or echo, and in general the production is very dry and thin, almost sounding like good quality demos. Ironically, the more minimalistic and electronic tracks sound fuller in some ways than the full-band pieces. As to the lyrics and the story, Galloway’s background in science is apparent, skillfully balancing technological themes with more personal and emotional aspects. When the Kill Code Fails is a promising debut, and with a little tweaking of production or mastering could be a real standout. I’m definitely looking forward to see what Galloway and company come up with next.


by Henry Schneider, 2016-02-12:

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate (HOGIA), what a mouthful and what an oddball band name! HOGIA is led by Malcolm Galloway, singer / songwriter / multi-instrumentalist, part-time neuropathologist, and medical school lecturer.When the Kill Code Fails is HOGIA’s second release and also a concept album. The album musically relates the story of an artificial intelligence (AI) construct’s attempts at coming to grips with discovering that it is not real. Think of it as Bladerunner meets The Matrix meets Pinocchio. I happened to rewatch Bladerunner the other night before devoting my attention to When the Kill Code Fails, and the multiple photos of eyes on the cover recalls the opening sequence of the movie as well. The background story is quite interesting, but not entirely conveyed by the music. Musically the thirteen tracks fall into two basic categories: electronic instrumentals and rock songs with various influences. The title track opens the album and relates the futile attempts at trying to kill a computer virus. This is a dark song with sequenced rhythms with Galloway’s vocals reminding me of Bauhaus. Track two, “Broken Wave,” is a dreamy electronic instrumental that is supposed to invoke virtual space. Next is “Layers” with more Bauhaus influences and a fantastic guitar break that deals with the creation of the AI. Track four is “Connections” with a throbbing bass sequence and other electronics, much like mid-80s Tangerine Dream. At this point the AI is exploring and developing. Now we come to “Head in a Jar.” Odd images come to mind based on the title, but the title is a metaphor. The aggressive vocals, keyboards, guitar, and drums make this the first hard rocking song on the disc. Then we are back to the next electronic instrumental “Link” and more explorations of the virtual world. At this point the AI is getting frustrated and confused about its reality, which comes out in the lyrics to “Going Down.” This song is quite proggy and contains some tasteful flute. The album shifts a bit to an introspective bluesy / jazzy song “I Still Remember You,” something you would expect from Tim Bowness. There is a very nice instrumental break in the middle and the song ends with a soaring guitar solo that fades away. Now the AI is beginning to realize that its memories are false, which it can accept intellectually but not emotionally. The AI slowly accepts what it is and its belief in substrate independence of consciousness as told in “My Clockwork Heart.” There are some similarities on this song to Austin’s Aaron Clift Experiment, which are purely coincidental: precise vocals and intelligent composition. Since the AI wants to be real boy, it escapes into the Internet and starts to run free. “Freerunning” has a simple sequenced riff and a running beat propelled by the bass. “Solace” is a Dave Gilmour influenced post-Roger Waters Pink Floyd type song. It is mostly instrumental and the AI is now aware of the threat that the virus introduced in the title track poses to both the virtual and real worlds. “Glass Lithium” is the last instrumental track with its introspective piano developing into an aggressive techno beat. The AI now multiplies itself to attack and destroy the virus. And the album ends with “Alive.” The AI is confident that it is alive. Quite an ambitious project and an enjoyable listening experience. If you want an in depth understanding of the album and view various videos of the tracks, click on the link below.

 

New Music Saturday (Canadian radio show/podcast) reviewing Solace -

"A great tune a good mix of rock, alternative and blues.

The vocals are just killer

Just wow, I'm very impressed

Guitar - The guy's a good player, unorthodox interesting phrasing
that kept my interest, he's a really good player

A really interesting piece of music
Something personal
Like the guitar was playing just for you
When the vocals came in it just blew me away
Wow. That's all I can say. Wow."

"Music and video art has found a new strength in the digital age" (about Dutch Flowers video)

Malcolm Galloway "Social Astronomy"

Good morning/afternoon/evening fellow progheads!  These past two weeks with Inside Out Music was nothing short of stellar as the search for all things prog brought you two fantastic new releases from the prog garden.  This week The Concert Closet hosts something a bit different--as is my modus operandi for those new to the Closet Concert Arena.

Malcolm Galloway has graced the the Concert Closet previously...February 2016 to refresh your memory.  Malcolm is the founding force behind Hat's Off Gentlemen It's Adequate; more than just a thinking person's prog band, they have the distinction of possessing the longest band name in the prog garden.  Malcolm is constantly evolving the band and taking bold steps with his music which is but one reason I find myself being drawn to this flame.  Malcolm's latest solo release is called "Social Astronomy" and resides in the minimalist section of the prog garden.  Minimalist interpretation of music and sound has always been intriguing to me; a section of the prog garden where I can find solace and relief from all the skulduggery of the working world...



"Social Astronomy" is a 76 minute piece of music that develops as it plays, musical patterns building on themselves and painting a picture that is as delicate as it is intricate.  Much like Philip Glass, Steven Reich, and Brian Eno, Malcolm takes the listener on a journey that looks at music and its creation through an entirely different lens.  There is even a sense of Abstract Aprils and Bang On A Can filtering through the headphones...

The album is but a 76 minute plus track moving through sound and building a mood much the way Robert Fripp took the listener on bold adventures during his Frippertronics days.  At the time there was nothing in the prog garden to hold up as a comparison or starting point to relate to; Fripp was venturing into new and uncharted territory.  So too, Malcolm is carving his own trail through the prog garden and "Social Astronomy" is merely a continuation of that trajectory.  While comparing Malcolm's solo work to his musical output with Hat's Off Gentlemen It's Adequate may not be exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, there are striking similarities. Malcolm seems to enjoy tinkering on the logical side of the garden...deconstructing sound as it were and following a different set of instructions to rebuild it in such a way as to lead you on a journey through a crystalline kaleidoscope..mysterious at first but quite remarkable in its simplicity.


This is music for those who want more from their music; nothing here is ever going to make airplay on mainstream radio.  Of course if we are honest and radio sounds are what we chase all the time there would be  no point in traipsing through the prog garden in the first place.  If you are a fan of soundscapes and enjoy music that does not force you to sort through lyrics, wait for the bridge to come around, or keep a steady 4/4 beat, Malcolm Galloway may be a soothing balm for your ears.

Malcolm's music can be found at Malcolm Galloway CD Baby and Hats Off Gentlemen.  He as well as his band also have Facebook pages at Malcolm FB and Hats Off Gentlemen FB, and the proverbial Twitter @itsadequate.  You know how I feel about supporting the artists here in the prog garden, so I will refrain from ranting--if you promise to make a purchase.

The search for all things prog continues to go off on different tangents each week, exposing more music to the loyal prog faithful.  I believe it is important to shine a light on artists, bands, and music that might otherwise be overlooked for no other reason than the arena is crowded.  Both Malcolm's solo work and his music with Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate are excellent additions to the prog garden and, while similar, occupy their own acreage. Flying solo Malcolm tends to be more"cranial" while within the confines of a band he flexes and pushes the prog paradigm.  

To say "Social Astronomy" is the thinking man's prog is to sell both the artist and the listener short.  Yes the music tends to bore deeper into the mind, but it does so in a genteel, refined way.  Malcolm challenges the listener to expect more from the music he/she chooses and offers an alternative that drops the gauntlet with a friendly grin.  To accept the dare is to step out of one's routine and into a dimension that is both provocative and encompassing--without being the condescending prude.

The search for all things prog continues to peel away layers of the genre, exposing a multitude of moods, experiences, and styles.  I hope you enjoy...until next week...

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