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Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate | When the Kill Code Fails

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Rock: Progressive Rock Rock: Classic Rock Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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When the Kill Code Fails

by Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate

Concept album following the story of an artificial intelligence construct trying to work out what it is, and then saving civilisation. This is the second album by the critically acclaimed British progressive rock band Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. When the Kill Code Fails
4:38 $0.99
2. Broken Wave
4:53 $0.99
3. Layers
4:02 $0.99
4. Connections
4:23 $0.99
5. Head in a Jar
3:34 $0.99
6. Link
3:12 $0.99
7. Going Down
2:56 $0.99
8. I Still Remember You
7:34 $0.99
9. My Clockwork Heart
3:52 $0.99
10. Freerunning
4:54 $0.99
11. Solace
4:29 $0.99
12. Glass Lithium
4:37 $0.99
13. Alive
3:53 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
When The Kill Code Fails, Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate's second album, is a science-fiction/artificial intelligence themed concept album. It is musically diverse with progressive rock, classic rock, electronica, metal influences.

Prog Album Of The Year 2015 - Beastie's Rock Show

Album of the Year, runner-up - Banks Radio Australia

Producer of the Year award, runner-up - Banks Radio Australia

"This is a brilliant album. An undeniably great rock opera" - The Prog Hours

We are extremely grateful to the legendary guitarist and former Genesis member Steve Hackett for his kind support for the album "I particularly enjoyed this album and I thoroughly recommend it. Steve Hackett"

Rock Regeneration's review of the band's Solace EP (featuring several tracks from this album stated - "Opening with some very gentle and relaxing guitar work, sat atop a soundscape is the title track from “Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate”. The track shows the continual growth of the band, pushing their boundaries, and it’s not too long before the gentle guitar takes on a Rock stance, as Malcolm’s vocals call out; “Carry Me”. This soon tails off back to the same gentle guitar work that opened the EP, and although this gentle calm is ruptured with the electric guitar and vocals; the two sides to the track marry up perfectly. Followed by “My Clockwork Heart”, mirroring the theme of the EP’s cover; while the song conceptually follows the path of a virtual character who develops consciousness. It shows a thematic direction that the band seem to be taking; especially when you consider the previous EP, “Head In A Jar” and the forthcoming “When The Kill Code Fails”. However, as you get into the track it’s over and yet it is not a short track-just shy of 4 minutes – but you just want more of the story! The track resides somewhere between the soundscapes and electric guitar work of the opening “Solace”; with its gentle rocking sound you half expect their trademark flute work to appear. Even with the idea of this virtual character, there is more than enough emotion in the vocals; giving the track a very personal feel. “Alive” starts lyrically, in the same vein and with a funkier rhythm it feels that the virtual character introduced in “My Clockwork Heart” is coming to life and embracing life. Musically the track has an old school Rock feel; but in a heavy way, and more in the way the guitars are uplifting."

Best Music You've Never Heard - "Modern indie prog-rock. This is outstanding music"

Amazing Radio - "Awesome"

Alternative Tracks - "Malcolm's commanding vocals create a compelling track"

Amazing Radio (Aaron Philips) - "Fusing progressive rock, acoustic, blues and metal, a nice melting pot"

“I give Malcom & his compadres a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for this stunning music; “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is 4.99/5.” – Improvijazzination

“Almost simultaneously genre blending and genre defining, ‘When the Kill Code Fails’ is both a brilliant continuation of the band’s sound and strong declaration of their potential.” Anthem Review

“A lovely song that again shows that not only is prog rock back... but it is doing some genuinely beautiful things. Hats off to you indeed gentlemen..." Eric Blackwood – Edison’s Children

“David Bowie, Brian Eno and Pink Floyd level prog rock. Cool.” VA Rocks

“I’m not ashamed to admit that I welled up when listening to this… I genuinely feel as if I have arrived somewhere new. As it says in the last song on the album… “I want more”!” Music Vs World

“A great album” Sci-Fi and Horror News

“Wonderful” The Invisible Side Of Rock

“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!” Music Reviews

“Lyrical genius” Runnin’ On Empty

“A concept compilation that’s both ambitious and adept. Its riveting rock tunes are blended well with its cinematic instrumental interludes, working together to deliver a dynamic listening experience. Check it out now.” Pure M Zine



1) The first track (When The Kill Code Fails) tells the story of a hacker who is released from prison under a new identity, to work for a government producing computer viruses as targeted weapons. They are supposed to target the infrastructure of enemy states (for example electricity generation, water management etc). The virus he produces spreads further than intended by his employers. He was supposed to provide a kill-code, that makes the virus destroy itself and wipe evidence of it's existence from any systems it has infected. The hacker has however provided a fake kill-code, and is attempting to extort money from his employer in exchange for the real code.

Unfortunately the hacker asks for too much, and rather than negotiating, he is vigorously interrogated, accidentally leading to his death, with no clues as to how to kill the virus.

This song is sung from the point of view of a middle-management level security service employee, who has been contacted by the virtual character (Vic), with an offer to help defeat the virus, if he is allowed out of the restrictions of his virtual room. This is a new experience for the manager, and not something he is comfortable with, but see's little other option, as the predictions are that the virus will soon cause huge damage to IT infrastructure globally.

"We made a deal and he got out of jail free.
With a house and a jar, and a secretary.
A pension and a parking space.
A quiet job in security.

A lifestyle change for a changed man.
What could go wrong?
What a marvelous plan.
I didn’t agree but I went along.
What else could I have done?

When the lights fade
It’s back to the stone age
When the kill code fails.
Watch the code spread from port to port leaving circuits dead.
When the kill code fails.

He made codes that shape things
Codes that break things
He calls them friends.
Friends that do what he wants
And then destroy themselves

And when I ask if it could go too far
He points to the code at the heart of this child.
And it the kill code fails? He smiles, and whispers hide.

We lost the kill code key when he died
On a water board, with a broken heart
No backups, no plans, no riddles, no clues, and his baby on the loose.

This isn’t something I’ve done before.
Talking to something, someone like you.
I wish there was another way, that I could delete your call.
But I don’t think there’s that much left to lose."

2) ‘Broken Wave’. This is a floating instrumental track. The story goes back a few days. We are in a virtual space. An AI research company is aiming to develop more realistic non-player characters for games by evolutionary algorithms. Characters are given a back-story through randomly chosen bits of information from stock photography and video libraries, and from information from the internet. These characters are created, and if they respond engagingly to interaction, their virtual DNA is selected and recombined, to produce every more convincing and engaging characters. The music here represents the nascent aspects of the character floating in and out of focus.

3) ‘Layers’. Iterations of the AI are created, awakening. Those that engaging are reborn. Those that don't are deleted. Before the song starts we would have had millions of 'I woke up in a room's without any progression. The song follows our what will become Vic, the first of these AIs to act as if he believes he is alive. His continuing rebirth and gradually changing environment (his room) is confusing and unsettling for him.

"I woke up in a room, it was empty, no ceiling no floor
I woke up in a room, it was empty, no ceiling no floor, no windows no door

Not again, no once again it's happening, I almost got over the edge, and then I pulled it back
I think I got out but I can't remember
What I saw when I saw reality crack
And it's wrong, and it's wrong, and it's wrong and it's wrong and it's wrong
It goes on, it goes, it goes on, it goes on, it goes on,
And still you're wrong

I woke up in a room, it was empty
Just a screen on the wall
And the voice from the screen on the wall

I woke up in a room, and I saw on the desk
The newspapers, books and the rest of the mess
The objects appear but they've always been here
Like I've always been here, Like I've always been here

And the voices in my head
That tell me that tell me there's nothing to fear
When they tell me it's time for bed
And the voices in my head
That tell me that it's OK
That tell me that it's OK, when they tell me it's time to sleep"

4) ‘Connections’. Instrumental. The AI character has access via the screen in his virtual room to the internet. He is exploring and developing.

5) ‘Head In A Jar’. One of the rockiest tracks on the album. The head isn’t really in a jar – it’s a metaphor.

"I was born in a jar, with pipes connected to pumping machines, keeping me clean.
Watching the world outside going by.
I don’t breathe, I don’t speak, in my jar of bottled freak.
I don’t blink. I just think and I feel fine.

I’m a head in a jar, I’m not going anywhere, so why don’t you stay, why are you running away.

Hello to all my invisible friends. Disconnected, unaware. The calm that comes with nothing to defend."

6) ‘Link’ - Instrumental. Vic continues to explore of the virtual world and becomes aware of the threat to both virtual and real worlds posed by the virus.

7) ‘Going Down’. Vic is getting a bit fed up with getting repeatedly confused about what he is.

"You tell me my life is a lie
That the people I love fill a hole in my mind
That my mind is a fiction, convictions illusions
My memories fake and my past a delusion

You tell me I'm programmed to say
That I feel what I feel, this is not a display
That I want you to listen, I want you to feel
That the feeling I'm feeling is real

And I'm going down, torn apart again
Twisted up, broken down, run agroud

You tell me there's nothing inside
No place in my room for a mind
That my statements lack meaning, my meanings translations
My words only words, just symbolic notation

You tell me I'm programmed to say
That I feel what I feel, this is not a display
That I want you to listen, I want you to feel
That the fear that I'm feeling is real

Can't you see that I'm lonely
Can't you see that I'm scared
Can't you see that I'm seeing
Fractures in cold air"

8) ‘I Still Remember You’. Vic gets a bit angsty that the person he thought he’d been married to for many years is actually a false memory created from stock photography images. He can intellectually accept that, but not emotionally.

“I know what I've been told
And I've said I understand
How the past is formed
In my kind of life

I know where the pictures are from
I see you've a different life
Not the one that I recall
But something outside

You seem so real
Until I turn you and see
Three dimensions fold
But when I look away you reappear

Painted in hard light
Painted in memory
I was broken from the start
I'm still broken when I think of you

I know what I know
And I feel what I feel
In my artificial life
I still remember you

How many points did it take to
Make me create you?
How many prompts for me to fill in the gaps
To make you feel so real

And when I think I sleep at night
If I still love you
Well if I still love you
Someone please tell me, what does that make me?"

9) ‘My Clockwork Heart’. This song is about Vic's acceptance of what he is, and his belief in the substrate independence of consciousness.

"Look into my pixelated eyes
Hold the gaze don't turn away
Am I fooling you like I've been fooling me
I get lonely I get tired
And when it's time to say goodnight
Have I been fooling you like I've been fooling me
My clockwork heart still beats
Somewhere inside me.”

10) ‘Freerunning’. Instrumental. Vic has partially escaped his room, and able to interact with the internet. He is running free, exploring his abilities.

11) ‘Solace’. Vic decides to do what he can to fight the virus. This song is a reflection on mortality, whatever the substrate of our self. He describes 'walking into the sun', by which he means giving up his virtual room, and moving into a more more authentic and dangerous (but still virtual) reality. He is aware that all carbon-based life has evolved from matter recycled from stars, as is the silicon and metals in which his mind is based.

“As I walk into the sun, carry me, carry me. We are made of space and time and stars. Broken stars. Broken stars, carry me."

12) ‘Glass Lithium’. Instrumental. Vic has had his virtual chains unlocked, and is out in the wider internet, dividing himself to attack the virus. Both he and the virus can divide and evolve in response to the attacks and counter-attacks. Vic subdues the virus, although it can't be completely destroyed everywhere. He takes on the role of a protector, diffusely distributed across networks, watching out for a resurgent virus.

13) ‘Alive’. The album ends with a more playful song, with a retro feel. Vic has saved the real world from the effects of the virtual world being virus-ridden (hooray) and has come to terms his identity. He is confident that he is both alive, and passionate about experiencing life. Or at least, he acts as if he believes that he is confident that he is alive...

"If you look closely you'll see the pixels in my eyes
My dreams and memories, my clockwork heart's disguise
Look into my eyes and see
Nothing where the shadow should be
Look at me and tell me what you see
I’m more alive than I've every been before and I want more
I've been a mirror, I've been a game
I've learned artificial shame
Talk to me and tell me what you hear
I'm a reflection in the dark
I've been a hole in an unmade heart
Hold me and tell me what you feel

I'm more alive than I've ever been before and I want more"


"Melodies roll off the tongue like spikes of venom", "musical bliss", "a strong instrumental number that will make you feel like you mainlined a pot of coffee", "sounds like a broken heart plugged straight into an amplifier", "the gut, sweat and groove that would make the staunchest prude move" - Music Reviews

“When the Kill Code Fails is a fascinating expression of the angst and wonder of an AI as it learns to live. It’s science fiction rock: sometimes moody, sometimes serene, with a positive message - no AIs taking over the world here. If you ever wondered what music an AI would listen to, this is it.” Dr Peter Bentley, Fellow and Honorary Reader in Computer Science at UCL, leading international research in artificial intelligence, and author of ‘Digital Biology’.

"This is a wonderful track. I love that track, it is very very atmospheric and very emotive. I know the vocal may not be everybody’s cup of tea, it’s very raw, but that’s what I love about it. It cries out in that vocal, its almost like he’s imploring you, beseeching you. I think it is such a stirring and moving vocal. I could listen to that all day, everyday, it’s wonderful. I will be playing more of their material as soon as I get my mitts on their new album” - Steve Beastie - Beastie's Rock Show

Featured on Amazing Radio, The Amazing Rock Show, Beastie's Rock Show, Croydon Radio, House of Prog,
ICRfm, Insomnia Radio, The Jim Gellatly Show, Lucky Star Radio, Museboat Radio, New Music Saturday, Prog Positivity, Pulse 98.4 Glasgow, Ralph's Indie Show, Radio Floyd, Radio Kaos Caribou, Radio Memphis, Radio Riff Rock, Radio Sherbourne, Rockout Radio, Roll On, Shoredich Radio, Social Media Radio, Songwriter Radio, Surrey Hills Radio, Tudno FM, Twisted Mixtape,
The Untapped Project, Wolfman Radio, XRP Radio, 11Tronix, 21st Century Prog, 5 Towns FM

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