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progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate - Broken But Still Standing - 2017

“... a very strong first section ...”
“Broken But Still Standing”, Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate’s third album, is a science/science-fiction themed concept album. It follows the story of human evolution, from Luca, the last universal common ancestor of all current life on earth, via Lucy, one of the possible precursors of our species, to conflict and eventual symbiosis with artificial intelligences. The general theme of the album is that life has progressed by forming coalitions, whether between the primitive cells that engulfed each other to become the cell and the mitochondria (the power stations of the cell), between individuals to form communities, or between different forms of life in the future. Are you still with me? But maybe the fact that Mr. Steve Hackett recommended their previous album “When The Kill Code Fails” is more convincing for you to read further.
Malcolm Galloway - vocals, guitar, keyboard, bass, programming; Mark Garland - bass, Chapman Stick, keyboard, guitar, backing vocals ; Kathryn Thomas - flute, bass flute, vocals; Ethan Galloway - vocals;  Rudy Burrell - drums; Ibon Bilboa - guitar
The beating heart of the band with the remarkable name Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate is formed by Malcolm Galloway (vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, producer) and Mark Garland (bass, backing vocals, keyboards, co-producer). This album is a mix of prog rock, rock, ambient, electronica and experimental music. You can find the following 17 tracks on this remarkable album; “Vent”, “Almost Familiar”, “Luca To Lucy”, “Lucy”, “Last Man On The Moon”, “Advancing On Snailback”, “Anywhere”, “One Day When”, “I Fell In Love With A Mechanical Dragon”, “Let Me Out”, “Under The Skin”, “Lucid Assassin”, “Broken But Still Standing Till I Fall”, “All Alone Together”, “Host”, “Transient Stars” and “Close My Eyes”.

The opener “Vent” is a beautiful example of mixing prog rock with electronica. This atmospheric opener with beautiful and melodic flute parts on a bed of synths reminds me of the work of Kit Watkins. The flute remains present in the next song “Almost Familiar”, a relaxed sung song with nice guitar parts. I always love the flute in my Prog, it is such a melodic instrument. The experimental and electronic atmosphere returns in the instrumental “Luca To Lucy”. Combined with the flute it gives the piece also an ambient character. The atmosphere of the music says mellow and relaxed. In the short Interlude “Lucy” the lovely flute of Kathryn Thomas is combined with a Fender Rhodes piano. The next vocal song is called “Last Man On The Moon”. It is a beautiful sung song with lovely interaction between the female and male voices. You can also enjoy a melodic guitar solo in this fine track. The beautiful Instrumental “Advancing On Snailback” has an ambient opening and the guitar part has some influences from a band called Pink Floyd.

After this mellow first part of the album the music gets more rhythm with the up-tempo song “Anywhere”. The songs “One Day When”, “I Fell In Love With A Mechanical Dragon” and “Let Me Out” continues this line and have even some pop and rock influences. “Under Skin” has besides female spoken words also female vocals. The instrumental “Lucid Assassin” is an up-tempo and contemporary sounding composition with a lot of electronica and a nice synth solo. The aggressively sung “Broken But Still Standing Till I Fall” is the next up-tempo song that includes a rock oriented guitar solo and a pounding bass line. This also applies in part to the song “Host”. “All Alone Together” is more my cup of tea. The mellow and relaxed atmosphere of the strong first parts of this album is returning. In “Transient” the piano plays an important role. But you can also enjoy some melodic guitar parts. The album comes to an end with the track “Close My Eyes”. With six and a half minutes this is also the longest track of the album. I like the synth parts of this track. It is a worthy ending of a remarkable album.
Personally I find the first section of the album with it’s first six tracks the most interesting. This opening which is influenced by electronica and that has often an ambient like atmosphere stimulates the mind of the Prog fan. The middle section of the album is more rock and pop oriented. But in overall I am positive surprised by this fine album of an act that was new for me. Prog On!
Douwe Fledderus - March 2018
rating - Glass Castle Recordings


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