The Senior Service debut album, The Girl In The Glass Case – album review

The Senior Service debut album, The Girl In The Glass Case is released on Damaged Goods Records.The debut album from The Senior Service is titled The Girl In The Glass Case and brings four chums together for the first time. Three of whom are stalwarts of the so-called ‘Medway Sound‘. While two of them recently achieved ‘Medway Legends‘ status, no less!

John Barker, Graham Day, Wolf Howard and Darryl Hartley began rehearsing in John’s studio with a shared love of TV themes and film scores, and the concept of producing original instrumentals based around Barker’s Hammond organ and the psychedelic rock guitar of Graham Day.

The result is a sweet honey-dripping musical journey through 1960s and ’70s TV and film score nostalgia.

Following the purchase of his first Hammond Organ a year ago, Johnny Barker began exploring the depth of sound, warmth and emotion that comes from this much loved instrument. Once bitten by its beauty, a plan was hatched to form a band and play classic Hammond tracks from the likes of Georgie Fame and Booker T & The MGs. But with a few rehearsals the four like-minded friends decided it would be more exciting to write original material with a strong nod to the likes of John Barry and Barry Gray.

The result of those self-produced sessions is the debut album, The Girl in the Glass Case – a title inspired by an original Wolf Howard poem.

The lead single, ‘Depth Charge‘ is one of the more upbeat songs on the album and sounds like a long lost Gerry Anderson theme, while ‘Hit The Lip‘ includes a great sounding guitar reminiscent of R Dean Taylor’s ‘There’s A Ghost In My House‘; and there’s a nod to the wonderful Vince Guaraldi themes of Charlie Brown and Snoopy on the final track, ‘Bees‘.

Bone Jacked‘ is one of my favourite tracks on the album. Hammond-led, the song gets funky with a Taxman / Start stabbing guitar rhythm. ‘Psyclone‘ is another that errs towards a more jazz funk courtesy of some Latin-flavoured percussion and Graham Day’s chugging rhythm guitar – grrovy maaaan!

The Girl In The Glass Case is a complete, well-written, polished yet self-produced debut album that will be warmly welcomed and critically-acclaimed among the ‘Medway Scene‘ and way beyond. The album is fresh and exciting with a nod to the 1960s of John Barry and TV theme tunes from yesteryear.

Comparisons with the original James Taylor Quartet are inescapable. Both come from Medway, perform instrumentals, and feature Hammond organ, guitar, bass and drums. Wolf Howard was also the original drummer for The James Taylor Quartet. But there are marked differences. Whereas with the original JTQ, James Taylor’s Hammond organ took centre-stage and was a showpiece for his expertise, including fiddly ‘have a banana‘ showy titbits and brother David Taylor’s guitar erred more towards the smooth 1960s sound of jazz pop fusion, The Senior Service perform self-composed, well-grounded, solid instrumentals with Graham Day’s more edgy sounding garage rock guitar and wah pedal drifting in and out of the album; and in doing so, giving the songs a little more oomph!

Hey kids! forget about the EU and Brexit, shoegazing and grime. This is happy music for happy people. You dig!?

The Senior Service debut album, The Girl In The Glass Case is released on Damaged Goods Records.

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