Sounding like a younger Fountains of Wayne and looking like a '60s mod band reincarnated for the new millennium, power pop quintet the Click Five formed in Boston in mid-2003.
Lead guitarist Joe Guese, bassist Ethan Mentzer, and keyboardist Ben Romans were students at the Berklee School of Music when they captured the attention of Svengali manager Wayne Sharp, a longtime jazz promoter whose first attempt at creating a pinup-ready pop combo (Candy, featuring future Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke) ended in commercial disaster when the group's hotly tipped 1985 debut, Whatever Happened to Fun, flopped at retail. After signing Guese, Mentzer, and Romans to his roster, Sharp added another Berklee student, drummer Joey Zehr, who recommended childhood friend Eric Dill to fill the band's frontman slot. After receiving their matching, mod-influenced suits and salon-styled haircuts, the Click Five began honing their chops on the Boston nightclub circuit, and in the spring of 2004 cut their first two-song demo session. A four-song tape quickly followed, and within a month the group signed to Lava Records.
Under Sharp's direction, the Click Five appeared to be everywhere during the first three years of their career. After touring the U.S. in support of Ashlee Simpson and releasing an EP, Angel to You (Devil to Me), and guys began working on their own debut LP, Greetings from Imrie House, which arrived in the summer of 2005 amid a flurry of licensed lunch boxes, trading cards, and hair products. The album was also supported via tour dates in support of the Backstreet Boys. Despite being the opening act on the tour, the Click Five actually enjoyed more mainstream success than the Backstreet Boys at the time, with Greetings from Imrie House peaking at number 15 and its platinum-selling lead single, "Just the Girl," nearly cracking the Top Ten.
The Click Five's popularity in America proved to be short-lived, though. After replacing Dill with singer/guitarist (and fellow Berklee alum) Kyle Patrick, the group returned in 2007 with Modern Minds and Pastimes, an album whose slightly retooled sound -- more synthesizers, more new wave elements -- failed to make an impact at home. Abroad, however, the Click Five continued to top the charts, particularly in Asian countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. As a result, the band released its next album, TCV, exclusively to Asian markets in late 2010. A European release followed six months later. ~ Jason Ankeny & Andrew Leahey, Rovi