Friday, November 13, 2015

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate, Killing the Code With a Twisted Release

When the Kill Code Fails - 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 amongst 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. Keyword 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!

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