|The Click Five - 'TCV' (Lojinx)|
|Written by Russ P|
|Saturday, 07 May 2011 06:00|
I've never heard of The Click Five. But the press release accompanying this disc assures me that that's alright - the band are better known on the other side of the pond. Better known I hear you say? Prove it! Well, how about having played shows with Kiss, Black Eyes Peas, Alanis Morissette, Rod Stewart and McFly? Also a number one single in five countries. I'd say a fair few people know about them already.
'TCV' is the band's third album and is produced by Mike Denneen who has previously worked with Aimee Mann on 'I'm With Stupid', Fountains Of Wayne on 'Utopia Parkway' and Gigolo Aunts on 'Minor Chords And Major Themes'. And the band themselves are graduates of the famous Berklee College of Music in Boston. Well I assume they graduated...it sounds like they did.
With all these elements in place you'd expect a slick and highly melodic power pop album - and you'd be right. Opener 'I Quit! I Quit! I Quit!' has a clean, open and fresh sound that gets me in a Sugarbomb mood straight away even though the guitar riff might be coming from the hands of The Georgia Satellites. However the band aren't the missing Jellyfish link that first impressions might imply. The band's sound is American alright - impossibly upbeat and unfeasibly happy even when they're sad - like on 'Nobody's Business' which has a tinge of The Cars at the height of their powers as does 'The Way It Goes'. Another case in point being 'The World Comes Crawlin' Back' imagine, if you will, the difference between Marti Pellow and Screamin' Jay Hawkins singing the lyric "crawling" and you'll get the idea.
'Fever For Shakin' proves the key to revealing another rich vein of the band's influences - British New Wave - who would've thought? But it's not as clear cut as all that - there's still quite a mix of influences on this track - from the low-slung guitar riffage to the Steve Nieve keyboard sound. And there's still room for a few surprises - a few u-turns which get me thinking about Sugarbomb all over again.
'Dancin' After Midnight' is another old country meets new wave mix with Dylanisms rubbing shoulders with Springsteen and Joe Jackson. 'Just Like My Heart Falls' - like most of this album - seems to have a superficial teeny bopper appeal underscored with a modicum of traditional rock substance - in this case from Tom Petty and Gigolo Aunts.
The only possible exceptions to my 'happy' rule are the ballad 'Don't Let Me Go' and the final track on the album 'Love Time Space' which is a suitably pitched plaintive melody which echoes perfectly its song title. It's as great a closer as 'I Quit! I Quit! I Quit!' was an opener.
At the end of the day I feel we have something strange here - an immediately accessible radio-friendly album that actually grows on you the more you listen to it. Subsequent listens reveal a depth and pedigree that just might elude you the first time around.