A symphony of violent noise arises from the ethers and overtakes our stereo speakers at the beginning of Good Service’s Please in the form of “And a Foot,” the first slice of audiological experimentalism that we hear in this much-buzzed debut album. A bittersweet singing quickly fades into an endless echo, giving way to a vibrant rock n’ roll jam before suddenly coming to a grinding halt once more. The melody is beautiful and transcendent of the jarring framework that cushions it, and though we’ll find something a bit more formulaic in the ensuing “Summer Muses,” the mood has already been determined as we move ahead in the tracklist. These first two tracks last just over five minutes, but the mark they leave behind is one that listeners won’t soon forget.
“Summer Muses,” one of three singles from this LP, has a lovely swing that will end up being reworked into an ambient groove number in “MaPaw,” another single and easily one of the more opulent of compositions on the record. “Washington Avenue” takes us back towards the avant-gardism of “And a Foot,” only with a rather ominous undertow replacing the optimistic volley of melodies that we heard at the onset of Please. We find more twists and turns in this track than we do anywhere else here, and they lead us directly into the throes of the churning “Sys’ro,” Please’s most abrasive song. In a hurricane of overdriven harmonies, we re-center, and brace ourselves for act II of Good Service’s spectacular debut.
Ira, Lila” lays the cathartic grooves on us just when it feels like we’re about to collapse under the weight of the last two tracks, but as fun a song as it is, I don’t believe that it’s quite as poignant a piece as the wondrous “94” is. “94,” is dream pop with a Howard James Kenny-style ambience at the center of its stormy arrangement, and while it recalls one of the most underrated eras in the history of alternative music, it doesn’t feel derivative at all. Please is absolutely a one of a kind listen, and try as they might, I can’t see any of Good Service’s rivals trumping what he’s established as his signature sound in this record anytime soon.
A little dose of midcentury pop reverence gets a post-punk makeover in “Pocket Calendars,” and even if this song isn’t as engaging a tour de force as those that precede it are, I still wouldn’t have eliminated it from this album. As its name implies, “The End” concludes the sonic pilgrimage that we started with “And a Foot” on a startlingly brooding note. It isn’t hard to fall in love with every one of the songs that Please presents us with, and for my money, it contains some of the most unusually relatable artistry of any LP that I’ve had the pleasure of taking a look at this summer. Musicians like Good Service don’t always find the right channels to get their work onto the platform that it deserves, but luckily for us, this solo vehicle for songwriter Noah Fardon has done just that.