HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT’S ADEQUATE
Out Of Mind Glass Castle
Up and down fourth record from London prog rockers.
If you’re new to Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate, the London band dub themselves “proggy, funky, defiant and sometimes poignant” – oh, and they’re approved by Steve Hackett. This just about encapsulates their fourth record Out Of Mind, although the funk nod is perhaps overegged – Sly & The Family Stone this ain’t. The music, guided by vocalist/ instrumentalist Malcolm Galloway and bassist/keyboardist Mark Gatland, is a stroll through cap-doffs to Pink Floyd and Marillion that underpin ruminations on the lyrical theme of memory. At best the album is an impressive palette of colours, with Defiance a spunky, key-driven romp and Maze a dreamy brushstroke of broody riffs and synth swirls, while Kathryn Thomas’ flute work is a vital injection of pizzaz. With lyrics pointing to pioneering sci-fi writer Philip K Dick, as well as tunes covering topics like dementia, this is a cerebral affair, but it derails a little on tracks like The Electric Ant, which can feel limp with overbearing vocals and soggy music. Forget about the lulls of pallidity, though, and Out Of Mind definitely has its moments, although it remains to be seen if it’s one that will stick in the memory.