There’s been a few changes in the Hieronymus Bosch camp since they released their rather nifty Havin’ Fun, Soundin’ Good CD last year. They’ve gained a sax player, a new bassist and lost the ‘Hieronymus’ from their name. But fans of that previous release will be pleased to know some things have stayed the same, as Buy One Get One is full of the straight-to-the-point thrills that were to be found on their debut. In fact, two tracks off Havin’ Fun, Soundin’ Good, The Movie Director and Metronome, are here again in re-jigged form. And as someone who generally prefers an original (familiar!) version to a new one, I’ve got to say that these are good re-workings which benefit from what seems like extra gusto.
As for the addition of a sax, well I’m pleased to announce that there’s none of that horrible tasteful soloing that brought the instrument into such disrepute back in the ’80s. This is more like the type of sax blowing that you would hear on some ancient rock’n’roll record, with opening track Come On Phillie benefiting in particular from Andrew Raff’s input. And, as with the debut, there’s a couple of tracks that would have sounded great in Pulp Fiction. Napoleon Invades Russia is a great surf-like instrumental, whilst Back To The Laboratory (which has a great guitar solo!) sounds like The Cramps covering The 5-6-7-8’s Woo Hoo, and is just screaming to be featured in a Tarantino movie. Someone tip him off!
Elsewhere, Matching Girlfriend reminds me of The Strokes, whilst Zombie Killer (written by new bassist Brett Beyer) also reminds me of The Cramps (hell, it even sounds like a Cramps title). In fact, Zombie Killer also has a great fuzzy guitar and a deliciously tinny organ sound that also brings to mind The Seeds. There’s also an altogether more heartfelt song in Teenage Symphony, with what sounds suspiciously like an accordion and some lovely guitar lines. It’s a really good song this one, and singer Matthew Harrison’s voice sounds suitably fragile whilst the drums rumble away in the distance.
The album closes with Tell The Doctor, which despite its infectious “Won’t you tell the doctor what’s W.R.O.N.G” chorus and pounding drums from that powerhouse Holt Richardson, sounds just a little too polite somehow. There’s another good guitar solo care of Mr. Harrison, though.
So, all in all, another success for The Bosch. I recently reviewed the rather challenging Fflint Central compilation, Malpractice, where I joked that it was not the not the album to listen to after a hard day at work unless you want to kill your boss. Well, Buy One Get One is exactly the type of the album to put on in the car on your journey home if you want your spirits lifted. It’s just a shame that it’s come so late in the year. I would have thought this was ideal for those window-open, head for the country moments that comes with the summer.