by Cortney Harding & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & W & lt;/span & hen most bands play cover songs, they do so for two main reasons: one, to pay respect to fellow artists and acknowledge their influences; and two, to be ironic and quirky and funny. Some bands, however, take the shtick too far. The Click Five, for example, not only cover Tiffany's '80s mall-rat classic, "I Think We're Alone Now," but the day after they grace the stage in Spokane, they'll be performing at the Tacoma Mall. No doubt many mothers will take their teen daughters to see the event and experience massive space/time confusion as they realize that 20 years ago, they stood in the exact same spot, heard the exact same song, and drank lemonade from the exact same Hot Dog on a Stick. It's compelling evidence for the claim that there is truly nothing new under the sun.
Perhaps I'm being unfairly harsh on the Click Five. Aside from the cloying cover, the rest of their debut record, "Greetings From Imrie House," is solid; it's upbeat, cheerful and blissfully catchy. "Catch Your Wave" is the best Beach Boys song they never recorded, and "Friday Night" is a downright cute tune about high school kids who just want to neck in the back seat. The collaborations with Fountains of Wayne front man Adam Schlesinger and Letters to Cleo producer Mike Denneen are also readily apparent, especially in the four-part harmonies that are a staple on many songs. It's no wonder Ashlee Simpson tapped them to open her recent tour; not only do they have the looks and hooks to hold the attention of a crowd, they also have the power to leave listeners in a state of giddy euphoria.
It wasn't all roses and rainbows for the Clickers at first. After graduating from Berklee, where bassist Joey Zehr says the band received "a tremendous amount of support," the five members of the band cut their teeth in the Boston market, realizing very quickly that fame wasn't going to come easily. "We resorted to booking shows under different names, just so we could get onstage," says Zehr. Persistence finally paid off: A local DJ started playing their demo, and soon they caught the ears of a variety of A & amp;R folks. After signing to Lava, they were thrown on the road to win over the hearts of screaming Backstreet Boys fans.
After the tour, the band discovered that not only had they won the hearts of the howling teens, but they had managed to crack their older brothers and sisters as well. Rolling Stone might have snarked that the Click Five "combines boy-band appeal with hipster haircuts," but they have succeeded where others have failed; "We all come from indie backgrounds, and what we do is pretty tongue in cheek," Zehr explains. By staying light on the cheese and heavy on the melody, they've been able to attract a broader audience. With any luck, they'll move from playing food courts to headlining stadiums in short order. Literally. Get it? Short order.
The Click Five at Fat Tuesday's with the Summer Obsession on Friday, March 10, at 7 pm. Tickets: $15. Visit www.ticketswest.com or call 325-SEAT.