In terms of today’s Irish music scene, there’s the mainstream, the underground and the really underground. From the latter, please welcome Rarely Seen Above Ground, aka Jeremy Hickey. If the thought of a one man band consisting of a drummer and some backing tracks sounds a bit like hard work, well it ain’t no walk in the park, but buried in this double debut album is something quite special.
The opening couple of tracks actually throw you off guard a little, pitching RSAG more as some -80s goth obsessive than anything else, but gradually the record opens up a whole range of influences. That initial impression never really shifts (New Model Army spring to mind for some reason) but extra shades creep in – a touch of Talking Heads here, some African riffs there. Unsurprisingly, it’s heavy on percussion, but there are some lovely touches of instrumentation.
Around the middle of record one, Organic Sampler nearly takes off, bringing all those different strands together on the fantastic -Good Times’. We say nearly because there is one glitch holding the record back – the production. Granted that this has probably been turned out on a shoestring, but it’s hard not to feel that with the right budget and resources, this could have gone to another level altogether. All of which is probably getting ahead of ourselves, as this will surely find its way into the hands of remixers all over the place. It deserves to too, for as raw material goes, this is solid gold.