Originally a live project where friends played cover tunes and numbers from their respective catalogues as a way of letting off steam, The Needy Sons is a Boston supergroup of sorts. Mike Gent has recorded several albums with power pop/rock outfit The Figgs, Ed Valuskas has associations with Gravel Pit and the legendary Bill Janovitz has recorded various solo albums as well as being a member of Buffalo Tom (whose ‘Big Red Letter Day’ is one of the finest albums in the history of recorded music). Augmented by Eric Anderson and with their debut album ‘Vis a Vis’ mixed in part by Mike Viola’s matey Ducky Carlisle, you could say this band got off to a good start.
In 2010, an unexpected power pop gem appeared in the release schedules by an unknown band named Oranjuly. The release played almost like a history of power pop, pulling influence from Brian Wilson, Paul McCartney, Jellyfish and Weezer on a strong set of songs. A year or so passed and we hadn’t heard much from the Oranjuly camp at all…until multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/songwriter Brian E. King re-appeared in a band named Parks. In the autumn of 2014, Real Gone caught up with Brian to find out what happened to the Oranjuly project and why they seemed destined to a be a one album deal.
Hailing from Seattle, Ransom and the Subset borrow from a variety of bands to create their musical canvas. Rather than sounding overtly plagiaristic, their debut release ‘No Time To Lose’ merely celebrates many different pop and rock styles, creating an eleven track musical journey that’s sure to connect with lovers of post nineties power pop at some place along the way. The fact that it borrows so heavily from classic influences is no surprise when taking into consideration that singer songwriter RanDair Porter has called upon Ducky Carlisle (The Major Labels) and Brian E. King (Oranjuly/Parks) to bring these songs to life. Neither producer/multi-instrumentalist is exactly shy of tapping into the past for key inspirations and King’s Oranjuly project, especially, proved a fantastic exercise in celebrating pop’s golden years, resulting perhaps even one of the finest one-album bands ever. All the studio help/arranging in the world would be of no use, of course, if the band weren’t up to scratch…