To be quite honest with you, Pink Floyd always scared me a little bit. Maybe it is because my older brother would go see Pink Floyd laser light shows at the planetarium and my older brother scared me a little bit. Plus that thing with the mouth and the wall and all of that. All of that stuff that circled in the vicinity of the Floyd alternately freaked me out or seemed too experimental to be interesting to listen to. Hence I am not what you would call an aficionado of the progressive rock scene.
So if you had told me that Do You Need The Service?, a quartet out of Philadelphia, was some sort of prog rock group, I would not have given it the open-ears listen it deserves. Good thing you did not tell me that. The group was formed in part so that bassist and former Ashevillian Justin Hallman could lead a band without having to sing. It’s also clear that Hallman’s affection for Rush (or is it RUSH) is a significant part of the band’s DNA. Being front and center puts a fair amount of pressure on a bass player to be clear and melodic in a way that bassist don’t normally have to be. Hallman’s devotion to his instrument and to Jaco Pastorius, a fellow South East Pennsylvania native, have made his playing more than equal to the task.
Not that he is the only one you will hear on the record. Mark Sconyer’s drums are more than equal to the task of holding up some added rhythmic responsibilities while adding plenty of fills. Guitarist and keyboard man Timothy Day delivers jabs and blows with equal ferocity from either instrument. Michael Tramontana’s saxophone work is a spot on extension of the sound of Morphine’s Dana Colley. We trust this does not necessarily mean Hallman will collapse and die of a heart attack on stage.
Nor will you by listening to Do You Need The Service’s latest release “I Hurl Myself Towards Glory.” Have no fear of the prog rock, if that’s what this is. Maybe experimental jazz. I don’t know. It’s a very engaging record, which I prefer as a record. That is to say, the vinyl is a good way to go. The whole thing was recorded “live” and it is amazing to hear what each of these guys is doing on their respective instruments. There is a “quieter” sound on the record versus the digital download, but I find that makes it a more inviting listen.
As far as I know, there are no Do You Need The Service? laser light shows planned for the planetarium. We have to get a planetarium first. While they play gigs in and around Philly, I do not know of a tour in the works. So go get the record and enjoy. You probably won’t be seeing Rush and you for damn sure won’t be seeing Morphine anytime soon. Get the service instead.