It’s felt like an age since their 2016 LP ‘Black Heart of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ was a new release, but Boston rockers Watts are back! To celebrate – and to relieve the anticipation for the new LP – they’re offering you a new song for free.
Aah, Boston. How we love you. Home to Buffalo Tom. Home to The Russians. Home to Aerosmith, The Lemonheads, Pixies, Mission of Burma, ‘Til Tuesday and countless other great bands. Boston is probably second only to New York as the US’s spiritual home of great rock music.
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.
Scott Janovitz will be familiar to some retro-pop aficionados as the mastermind behind The Russians – the mysterious indie/power pop band who left us a sole full length album ‘Crashing The Party’ in 2011. Although a rather melancholy listen in some places, it’s collection of songs were very well crafted, with sounds borrowing from the sixties, eighties and nineties in almost equal measure. The years passed, but nothing more materialised from either Janovitz or The Russians, leading some listeners to wonder what could have been…
Boston’s self-titled debut album is rightly heralded as a melodic rock classic. The combination of Brad Delp’s soaring voice, a wall of vocal harmonies and the distinctive guitar work of Tom Scholz has allowed the album to (almost) transcend the ages. While it doesn’t necessarily sound timeless, it certainly still sounds like an album recorded some time after its mid-70s origins, such is its sharpness. The band’s next works (1978’s ‘Don’t Look Back’ and 1986’s ‘Third Stage’) are almost as good, thanks to Scholtz and his obsession with perfection. After a long delay, the band returned in the mid 90s for ‘Walk On’, a decent selection of pomp-driven songs with Orion vocalist Fran Cosmo doing a grand job of replacing Brad Delp on vocals. It mightn’t have quite been up there the Boston of ’76, but then it didn’t pretend to be – it was a good enough record in its own way. From this point on, very little was heard from the Boston camp until the release of ‘Corporate America’ (featuring both Delp and Cosmo alongside Sholz) in 2002. It was a record which gathered mixed reviews. Too much time had passed.