Sunday, June 28, 2009

OTWOBBW: V Factory

First up is V Factory. And really, we can’t give you a better introduction than Wikipedia can: “The members have yet to confirm what the ‘V’ stands for. Wesley Quinn, in an interview with Popstar! Magazine, stated that ‘the V is a hidden meaning between the five of us.’ He also states that the meaning will come out like the FedEx box in the movie, Cast Away, which stars Tom Hanks.”

Image: Well, they certainly look like a boy band. Flipping through their gallery made us nostalgic for the late 90s, so thumbs up to that. The cuteness quotient could be higher, but that’s their Svengali’s fault, not theirs. They’re smart enough to put the Cute One front and center at all times, and vaguely coordinate the outfits, but they’re striving for legitimacy too much right now, what with the moody backlit promotional photos and Hoodies of Despair. They need more primary colors and jumping on each other. Fake legitimacy can come later. 3 out of 5.

Archetypes: Asher is clearly The Heartthrob, as he is the cutest and the lead singer. He will heretofore be referred to as “Ash Kash Bigash.” Wesley, who is little and blond, is The Little Blond One. Look out, Ash Kash: history indicates that he will eventually usurp your position (see also Carter, Nick; Timberlake, Justin). At first we thought Nathanial was The Other One, but after seeing him list He’s Just Not That Into You as one of his favorite books and Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List as one of his favorite TV shows, he has been upgraded to The Gay One. Nicky T. has the boy bandiest name; he’s usually wearing a tie and/or cardigan, which makes him The Responsible One. (Also, he was apparently a member of Quest Crew, which is pretty hardcore.) And finally, Jared, though apparently the “template” on which the band was based, appears to serve no purpose. Sorry, Jared. You’re The Other One.

Missing: The Bad Boy. Hurry up, Jared! It’s not too late! We also have yet to identify The Funny One, so start short sheeting the others’ beds. 3 out of 5.

Music Video: Nothing to write home about. They seem to have misread their audience, because twelve-year-olds don’t want you grinding in a dystopian bunker, they want you frolicking in a meadow (see above). The dancing, too, has a goofily joyous quality that smacks of HSM, which is appropriate for a cheerful musical about singing and basketball, but not for a faux R&B song playing in a club made out of a converted bomb shelter. They have also made the rookie mistake of allowing a sexy girl to actually touch them in their first video. I assure you that if V Factory makes it big, that girl will be receiving countless death threats on Hello Kitty stationary. 2 out of 5.

Personality: We did watch a video of Asher spilling a milkshake on himself and Nicky T laughing his ass off at him while Nathanial broke into song and the other two pretended not to know them, so that was entertaining. There’s potential for endearing BFFness/bromance, which is vital for boy bands, but they will need to step it up withthe wacky interviews – possibly ones in which they argue over who has the messiest bunk on the tour bus. Also, Nathanial is super gay, which we like. 4 out of 5.

Oh yeah, the music: Vocally, nothing too impressive, but on “Love Struck,” which is clearly intended to be their big single (and is inexplicably two words), they have managed to obscure the weakness of their singers with judicious application of almost every button on the soundboard. It’s hard to tell whether whoever’s singing lead on “Love Struck” is genuinely better than whoever’s singing lead on the other three song clips on their site – or even whether it’s a different guy – but it certainly sounds a bit better, by which we mean less nasal. There has certainly been no effort made to showcase anyone’s vocal performance, which makes us suspicious that there is nothing to showcase. 3 out of 5.

Bonus hilarious lyrics: "She bad/ She bad/ She bad/ She bad/ She bad/ She bad/ She bad/ She bad..."

Final Score: 15/25. Out of the various boy bands we’ve looked at, they appear to have the best lineup and the best chance, but they’re lacking the crucial element of looking like they really are having fun. Smile, boys. Your tweens demand it.

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