Cosmik Debris

DJ Johnson, Cosmik Debris, Cosmik Debris’ Staff Picks The Top Five Releases Of 2004 (Honorable Mention)

“Finally, a little cardboard promo I got sometime mid-year by a band called Hieronymus Bosch (Havin’ Fun, Soundin’ Good) is also still sitting here, probably permanently. My review was positive, but I didn’t say anything that would have hinted it would be in this year-end article. But I just couldn’t stop listening to the damned thing. Y’know how that can be, I’m sure. Fun album.”

Lollipop Magazine (Boston, MA)

Craig Regala, Lollipop Magazine, Hieronymus Bosch: Havin’ Fun Soundin’ Good

Surf-based band with nods to classic garage rock (un-ruined by duh punks or pop scammery) fuzz chime with kinda geeky vocals. Coulda done well opening for Dirty Looks at their LP release party in 1980. Hell, it almost sounds like Hieronymous Bosch are gonna crack into D. Looks’ “They Got Me Covered” a couple times. One of the great things about surf-based stuff is the structure is open enough for some melodically stinging guitar to stretch out for some rocked-out gear shifting. This disc is eight tracks, no filler. Look at it as a nice, concise take where Dick Dale, Boss Martians, Violent Femmes, Dirty Looks, Pylon, and Little Steven’s Underground Garage say “hi.” Perfect recording, coulda used a couple covers to push it over a half hour, but hey, they didn’t need my advice to make a good one.

Spill Magazine (Toronto, Canada)

Metal Mike, Spill Magazine: “havin’ fun, soundin’ good”

These three guys from Brooklyn are obviously well grounded in rock & roll, and it really sounds like they’re having fun and sounding good. Hieronymus Bosch’s debut is a great mix of punk, surf and straight-ahead rock & roll, quite reminiscent of the lighter Pixies material. No pretension here, just good music.

Skratch Magazine (Tustin, CA)

H. Barry Zimmerman, Skratch Magazine: CD Review: Havin’ Fun, Soundin’ Good, June 2004.

Hieronymus Bosch is a Brooklyn three-piece rock band. Their sound is surf and cool, fun pop. “HAVIN’ FUN, SOUNDIN’ GOOD” is an excellent album. The opening track “Borg Warner, Four-on-the-Floor”, starts with a slow, building noodling, and then Hieronymous Bosch throw in their six cents on the Dick Dale theory of surf guitar. This band doesn’t have Dick Dale’s balls (very few do), but I would say Hieronymus Bosch out-nut The Ventures. On track 2, “Metronome”, guitarist and voxman Mathew Harrison is Lou Reed with cool, upbeat energy. A real cool act. My pick for the single would be “1776”, a slow groove, very cool sounds (“I’ve had it with 1776 / And the Pistols / And the local cineplex”). Hieronymus Bosch is unsigned gold. “HAVIN’ FUN, SOUNDIN’ GOOD” is a real cool time.

Cosmik Debris

Review: Havin’ Fun, Soundin’ Good (Self-Released), DJ Johnson, Cosmik Debris, Apr. 10, 2004.

The album begins with a thick-toned instrumental surf number full of energy, nothing earth shattering or that will send thousands of kids to the guitar store, but I’m talkin’ about the kind of tune that makes you slip your shades on and drive a little faster than the legal limit. Ah, but this isn’t a surf band, per se, and the second track “Metronome,” reintroduces Hieronymus Bosch as a gang of rockers with a fondness for the trappings of 60s garage. Almost hidden in all the power and bluster are some sloppy moments that would be more of an eyebrow raiser if not for the garage ethic. I wouldn’t say they necessarily “make the sloppy moments work,” but they’re minor, few, and more than made up for by the pure fun of rest of the album. The band takes their name from Hieronymus Bosch, the Dutch surrealist painter of the 1400s best known for a glorious work of art titled Garden of Earthly Delights. That hasn’t got too much bearing on this review, but it’s interesting to note that when you listen to something like “The Movie Director” you feel their unbridled “let it be what it becomes” creativity, and the thing is magical. A garden of musical delights. There are only 8 songs (25 minutes) on this album, but it’s high quality and highly recommended.

Columbia Daily Spectator (New York, NY)

Brooklyn’s Beach Boys, Patricia Feghali, Columbia Daily Spectator, Apr. 13, 2004.

Arts & Entertainment : Music
Brooklyn’s Beach Boys
By Patricia Feghali
Spectator Staff Writer
April 13, 2004

Who said there was no surf rock in New York City? Whoever it was–and I assume someone somewhere did say such a thing–had certainly never heard Hieronymus Bosch, perhaps Brooklyn’s finest surf-rock band. The band consists of suit-wearing superstar leader Matt Harrison, CC ’02 and a former Spectator editor, on guitar, drummer extraordinaire Holt Richardson, Tony Pei on bass, and newcomer Andrew Raff on keyboards and sax. These boys know how to throw a party, and everybody’s invited, so long as they wear a bikini.

Their new album, the aptly named Havin’ Fun, Soundin’ Good, is not only easy to listen and dance to, but it’s catchy to boot. You might have thought that all those Brooklyn hipster bands did was stand still and drone on about their astoundingly cool poverty level, but this is one band that convulses on stage just as much as you will in the crowd. Richardson’s arms move at speeds unthinkable to most drummers, and Harrison has perfected the frantic guitar playing that he had brought to his previous band, the Space Program, resulting in what can only be termed a blast of auditory and visual brilliance.

Harrison and Richardson are the Mick and Keith of the group, as they told me later. Before both moving to New York they went to high school and played music together in Virginia Beach, Va., which Richardson admitted “might not be the Mecca of surfing, but it’s at least a surfing Medina or Islamabad.” Did I also mention that they’re clever?

It is unusual these days to find a band that can not only sound good live, but also put together a fine recording. Hieronymus Bosch seems to be one of those rarities. The band is very tight, and rips through these tracks like they’ve been playing them all their lives. Claiming Man–or Astroman–as a big influence, Harrison and company nevertheless make music that is all their own, showing more of an allegiance to old-fashioned fun in the sun than to changing the world through perfect chord progression. And this makes the band a refreshing break from all the wannabe political groups out there. Hieronymus Bosch doesn’t try to be anything it’s not, and lives up to everything it is: good clean fun that may, or may not, rot your liver.