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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Hats off Gentlemen It’s Adequate

Nostalgia for Infinity

Review by Gary Hill

I've reviewed quite a few releases from this act. They always produce compelling and intriguing progressive rock. This newest entry is no exception to that rule. Their blend of sounds is fresh and exciting, and they have delivered an album that never feels redundant. It's a safe bet that they probably stretch beyond the comfort zone of a lot of prog purists, yet I'm also sure some of this lands right in the midst of that area. All in all, this is another quality entry in the Hats off Gentlemen It's Adequate catalog.

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Track by Track Review
Century Rain
Trippy elements are on display as this opens. The cut grows out gradually from there. As the cut continues to evolve, it gets into some more dramatic and powered up progressive rock modes. The vocals come in over the top after a while. I dig the crunchy texture to some of the guitar on this. There is a slow moving, rather understated element beyond that, though. I'm reminded in some ways of Marillion here. It gets harder rocking as after the minute-and-a-half mark. The powerhouse instrumental movement later in the number is so cool. I really love the magic the flute brings to it, but everything about it is great.
Twin Earth
I love the balance between mellower and more rocking concepts here. There is some really exceptional powerhouse jamming in some of the instrumental passages of the piece. It also drifts into some trippiness at points.
The epic of the disc, this instrumental is nearly 12-minutes long. It comes in fairly sedate, but still intricate and energetic. The transition from there is gradual.  While it eventually starts rocking out more, it drops back down again from there to some of the most sedate sounds of the cut. A new transformation and elevation begins from there. Around the five-minute mark, though, this explodes into a powerhouse prog rocking jam that is so tasty. That part holds it for a time, but then they take us into a different sedate movement. After running through along that road for a bit, the number explodes out into more energized prog jamming in a movement that's among the most powerful musical passages of the set. It's driving and has some exceptional melodies. It eventually makes its way to another mellower section to take the tune through.
A harder rocking tune, this leans more toward AOR prog. The vocals seem a bit too high in the mix to me. There are some intriguing changes as the cut evolves. I love the guitar solo based instrumental sections later, and this whole cut has some real magic built into it. In fact, the closing instrumental movement is particularly soaring.
Chasing Neon
This instrumental is a killer number. It has a great electronic prog vibe to it, calling to mind a lot of the more electronic acts of the 70s. It's energized and classy.
I love the piano that dances around this number. There is an energy and vibe that is almost techno or industrial to this thing. The piece has some killer keyboard textures and a fast paced groove to it.
Trippy musical textures on display here. Electronic keyboard elements drive the cut. This instrumental really is another that feels like it fits in with a lot of the electronic music of the 1970s.
At less than a minute-and-a-half long, this is the shortest piece of the disc. It starts fairly mellow and keyboard based, but quickly turns out into a metallic jam that is also based in Rock In Opposition type jamming. This instrumental is quirky, twisting and turning and so cool. The crazed piano at various points throughout really makes it.
Another instrumental, this is largely ambient, trippy and spacey. There are definite moments of RIO styled weirdness here and there, though.
Nostalgia for Infinity
Seeming to come out of the previous number, this comes in mellower. There is a spoken female voice that says the title of the song (and album). Then the band launch into a more powered up melodic prog jam. That voice is heard here and there along the road on the introduction. It drops to trippy ambience as it moves toward the two-minute mark. The cut rises upward from there to a song-based structure that makes me think of Pink Floyd just a bit. It's slow moving and has some hints of non-lyrical vocals. A killer jam with flute dancing over the top ensues instrumentally from there. The first real vocals of the cut emerge after the three-and-a-half-minute mark. The tune keeps driving onward with a great melodic prog vibe and texture.
The Pink Floyd comparison is valid on this instrumental, too. This has some decidedly Floydian keyboard and guitar textures and lines. The one of the piece is mellow and melodic. There is a dreamy element to it. It jumps into a more soaring movement near the end, but the general concepts are preserved and augmented rather than replaced.
Sixth Extinction
This pounds in hard-edged and almost metallic. The vocals comes in over the top of that backdrop. The tune has a real metallic and industrial edge to it.
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