Monday, July 09, 2012

BOY BAND BONANZA: State of the US Boy Band

And it's long overdue. This week is officially BOY BAND BONANZA Week (BBB for short) here at Melismatic. Hold back your tears, girls. It's going down.

Everyone who knows me knows I love me a good boy band. Just give me 4-6 cute boys with sweet/adorable/funny personalities (unless you're in Super Junior, then you can multiply that number a few times), dancing around to a catchy uptempo in matching outfits and I am good to go.

In fact, one of my very first posts on this here blog was about a proposed Battle of the (New) Boy Bands, mainly between NLT (Not Like Them) and V Factory. However -- times change. That post was written in 2008 and it is now 2012. The State of the US Boy Band is completely different, especially now that out of nowhere, the UK's exports in The Wanted and One Direction have come to sweep us fangirls/fanboys off of our proverbial feet. So before we go off and running with all the good stuff that is happening now, let's give a little props to the boys who are still grinding...four years later.


(formerly, a five-piece group signed to Warner; currently, a trio that is still signed to Warner?)
Status: ??

Their debut (and only) single "Love Struck" was officially my favorite song of 2009. But after lead vocalist Asher Book's turn in Fame, things started to run downhill instead of uphill like I so desperately hoped. In 2010, both Asher and Wesley Quinn announced their amicable departure from the group, and later, Jared Murillo headed off to the UK to serve as a pro dancer on Strictly Come Dancing. He returned to the States in early 2011 -- and the V Factory Official Twitter stated "...Now for more Vee!"...In a cruel turn of events for my heart, that was actually the last formal post they've made. 

Depending on who you talk to, the group is 1) totally over, 2) working as a trio, 3) looking for new members. Asher Book, on the other hand, has re-emerged as Asher Monroe with a handful of internet singles ("Hello Baby", "Like I Do", "Every Night") which are all pretty damn good indeed. Say hello to falsetto in 3, 2...


(a four-piece co-produced by Darkchild, managed by Johnny Wright)
Status: Done.

From the ashes of my favorite 00's boy band, NLT (Not Like Them), came One Call -- a group that featured NLT's JJ (Travis and V are pursuing solo works, while Kevin is a current star of the FOX hit "Glee"), along with two members of the former new Menudo in Chris and Jose. (In fact, VFactory, Menudo & NLT all toured together in 2008.) The trio was rounded out by newbie AG and One Call was born (because apparently all it takes is ONE CALL to change your life). The group debuted with a slinky Darkchild-produced hype single "Temporary Love" back in 2009, along with videos of them re-recording the Darkchild-produced Se7en English single "Them Girls".

Despite having an all-star crew behind them and a decent (and sexy) jam in their 2010 first single "Black Light", the group really failed to go anywhere after their big break of opening for Britney Spears during her comeback Circus tour. Incidentally, it was while they were prepping for this tour that I accidentally ran into them (literally) while shopping in Times Square.

Currently, the group has officially broken up and gone their separate ways. Jose went on to compete in the Puerto Rican version of American Idol and AG also jumped ship. Chris and JJ originally stated they would be getting replacement members but that idea has been shoved by the waist-side in favor of the two of them pursuing matters on their own.

(originally, a five-piece signed to EMI/Capitol; currently, a five-piece under a new name with new members)

Varsity Fanclub was a boy band helmed by Drew Ryan Scott, one of the two original members of VfC that have survived all lineup changes. Scott writes a LOT of VfC's material as well as hits for some of my faves in KPOP (most recently TVXQ's "Superstar," but has also written for SHINee, Girls' Generation and Super Junior, as well as Selena Gomez and Willow Smith). The group original debuted in 2008 with the song "Future Love" (co-written by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder) but the song was re-recorded (and re-released) in 2009 by fledgling popstar Kristinia DeBarge. By mid-2009, their debut album was shelved and the group was back at the drawing board.

PLEASE NOTE: Might want to turn your speakers down a bit - the sound is a little...wonky. But it's the best version I could find that didn't have too many screaming German fangirls in the background...

Lineup changes abounded, but the group toured in Europe (mainly in Germany), promoting singles like "Spank That" (cringe) and "I'm Your Guy". Things started to look up in 2011 with the announcement of a new single called "Opera" (masks and all) produced by Red One. However, the supposed EP went without release and the group was  recently re-branded just a few weeks back as After Romeo. Fingers crossed that this is the last setback for the boys...

Stay tuned all this week for more boy band goodies, including thoughts on Midnight Red, Big Time Rush, Social NetworkK and of course, my guys in TVXQ (HoMin) and Super Junior...


John said...

I'm a sucker for your Boy Band posts, and this one's no exception. V Factory...sigh. Wesley is working at a car dealership according to his Twitter. Really? Come on! "Love Struck" is still the jam, but here's hoping something rises from the smoldering ashes. (BTW, they were #9 on my 2009 year-end as well)

Yadira said...

That is great news, we need more american boy bands, I would actually like to introduce to you a new vocal group/boy band from California called "Radio for the People." These four guys are multicultural and have released three singles. Hope you can write about tthem on your next post.

Official Music Page:



Lilly said...

i thought v-factory had potential

Mel said...

John - For serious? No jokes? He really is?(cries in a corner)

Yadira - Awesome! I will definitely check them out! Thanks for the heads up!

Lilly -...I know, right? (cries)

Follow Me on Instagram via @melismaticdiva