[Review] Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate – Ark

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate is an Eclectic Prog project formed in 2009 in London, based on the duo Malcom Galloway and Mark Gatland. They produced 4 Full-Length and 6 EP, the last of which “Ark” released on August 14, 2019 on Glass Castle Recordings. Kathryn Thomas joins the duo for the occasion on the flute in the third song. The opener “Ark,” that gives the EP its title, is inspired by the flight logs of Malcom’s grandfather, who served as a telegraphist/Airgunner on Swordfish biplanes on the Ark Royal. A long track that traces the phases of the flight in music from preparation to confrontation with the enemy, up to the final sinking of the plane itself. The various phases are well interpreted, with softer tones of guitar and keyboards in the initial section, becoming darker with the flow of the track. In the central part the first lunge and the music becomes tense, but after the success a section again soft with keyboards and guitar. The final clash, in which the plane has the worst, is excellently represented by an aggressive section in which tension and intensity increase. In the finale it closes on a soft melody to represent the end of the clash and the sinking, with layers of melancholic keyboards. “Chasing Neon” begins with a soft synth and then with a sudden turn into a more rhythmic track with electronic and retro-futuristic tones. A repeated synth pattern establishes the main melody with the guitar that inserts itself creating a darker atmosphere. A song that showcases the most electronic aspect of the band’s sound, pleasant and engaging. “She moved through the fair” is a traditional Irish Folk song, where Malcom, besides singing, plays all the instruments with the addition of the flute by Kathryn Thomas. An excellent readaptation in a modern key, keeping the traditional setting, with a warm and expressive voice. In the instrumental part the flute takes the sound to another level, with guitar and percussion synths and subsequently with the entry of all the instruments the intensity increases. The calm returns and the track closes. An EP with 3 very different tracks, which express the band’s eclectic character. Full of interesting ideas and references, it is a recommended and pleasant listening, another good test in the band’s discography.

Tracklist

1. Ark (11:47)
2. Chasing Neon (5:34)
3. She Moved Through The Fair (7:48)

Lineup

Malcolm Galloway / Guitar (1,3), Vocals (3), Keyboards/Synths 
Mark Gatland / Bass (1,2), Guitar (2) 
Kathryn Thomas / Flute (3) 

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|YouTube Channel|

Glass Castle Recordings |Bandcamp|Twitter|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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