R.S.A.G. - Organic Sampler
Comprised of two discs – the main album and a bonus disc containing mostly instrumental doodles – Organic Sampler is, quite simply, an extraordinary record. The depth of scope and enterprise is palpable on every track; from the powerful, bleak opener Counting Down to the trim groove of Talk Back Crawl Back and the lithe squall of The Climb, there's a sense that Hickey is constantly striving to create something never heard by human ears before. While he doesn't quite succeed on that front – his influences (primarily Joy Division and Talking Heads) are paraded audaciously, though never derivatively – there's a magic about Organic Sampler that means every listen will unearth new surprises.
Which also means that there's a wide range of styles on display here, to keep interest afloat: experimental, disordered jazz cabaret (Days Go By) and sinister voodoo-style fuzziness (The Climb) lay side-by-side with animated, hypnotic pop (It Over) and songs that recall a trippy tour of a morgue during the witching hour (Stick To Your Line). Such a mixed bag could easily turn up catastrophic results, but the whirlwind of solos and styles somehow works cohesively. It's more than a little premature to call Hickey a visionary, but this is undoubtedly a wondrous debut album.
Review by Lauren Murphy | 09:00 | Monday 10th November 2008 | Album Review