New Beatles on the Block


Boy groups are never really behind us. Any suggestion otherwise would be to succumb to a concept of zeitgeists that leaves teenyboppers with no bullets in their bop guns for certain pockets of history—between NKOTB and Backstreet, say, or right now. All-4-One kept stadium seating moist before 1997’s pop paradise. And now Boston blow-up dolls the Click Five are poised to stride right past Stripes, Strokes, and Franz Ferdinand on the Hot 100.

Their debut, Greetings From Imrie House, carries the boy-pop torch by attaching itself to Josie & the Pussycats–style rock. And what attachments! No dodos, they let Fountains of Wayne chairman Adam Schlesinger write the first single, “Just the Girl,” adding a soupçon of alt. Paul Stanley co-wrote “Angel to You (Devil to Me)” and was undoubtedly responsible for its great Sweet-y pre-chorus. Their matching suits are meant to give you the Hives. And rock out it all does, coming off the line like a hot rod as shiny as acockroach casing.

Built to last as long too. In 2005’s here today, here tomorrow pop climate, these fresh Berklee College of Music grads have no intention of slipping between zeitgeists. So they situate themselves in teenybop’s seamless historical continuum. On the advance version of Greetings, a decidedly non-jokey cover of “I Think We’re Alone Now” established a marvelous continuity with Tommy James, Tiffany, and the Dave Clark Five of 2025. But it was dropped from the final product in favor of a tart take on Thompson Twins’ “Lies,” probably in a fruitless attempt to trick Ferdinand fans. A shame. The new new wave is about being old enough to have a time to look back to. The Click Five are the sound of having all kinds of time. In a golden ray of light, they can see that the whole world is theirs tonight. And their music is no less truthful for that.