Release Date: June 24, 2022
Genre: Hard Rock, Rock
Label: Better Noise Music
The massively rising Los Angeles-based rock quintet Classless Act -formed of vocalist Derek Day, guitarist Dane Pieper, guitarist Griffin Tucker, bassist Franco Gravante, and drummer Chuck McKissok- originally formed with a different lineup in 2016. This current lineup of the band met on the internet, primarily through connecting through TikTok and Instagram in 2019. It wasn't shortly after the five strangers got together to jam. They clicked straight out of the gate, created a brotherly bond, and began work on what is now their debut album, Welcome To The Show. The band's debut album, Welcome To The Show, is a massive collaboration across the board. The album has many songs produced by the band's members themselves. Additionally, some songs on Welcome To The Show were worked on by world-class producers such as Bob Rock, Michael Beinhorn, and Joe Chicarrelli. All of which have written and produced many massive hits for the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Soundgarden, and The White Stripes, to name a few. Welcome To The Show is an album of epic proportions. It's gritty, sloppy, and simply mesmerizing all around. It's exactly what rock has and always will be. It's pure rock 'n' roll as it comes, but without holding down one singular constant rock genre or rock sub-genre over its twelve tracks. As we're seeing with most music these past couple of years, genre as a whole is being bent -even exploited to everyone's will- if it's not entirely being tossed out the window, and it's evident once again on Classless Act's debut album as the band pulls from a wide variety of rock influences that ranges decades and decades into their own distinct sound.
Welcome To The Show opens with a track named after themselves. "Classless Act" puts the band on the radar of anyone who listens to it. The song -which was produced and mixed by the band's own Franco Gravante- also features the one and only legendary Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil. Both Neil and Tommy Lee have grown a liking for the band over their formative years as a group. Not just featuring Neil on a track, Mötley Crüe even recruited Classless Act with a prestigious spot to open for them on their current North American stadium tour. The tour grants Classless Act the pleasure and generous offer of sharing the stage with the greats in Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Poison, and Joan Jett and The Blackhearts. Musically, "Classless Act" is adulterated hard rock, chock full of raw riffs, stunning harmonica, face-melting guitar solos, and backed by the mighty voice of Vince Neil. Right off a massive start, "This Is For You" follows the opening number. This particular track features The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins who provides a hell of a guitar solo, and overall, the track is equally as charged in energy as "Classless Act."
As these songs are all rock at the core, various elements of sub-genres -and some clear influences- can be heard through the entirety of Welcome To The Show. On the band's namesake song, "Classless Act," the use of harmonica really brings the track around with some southern and folk-rock elements. "Time To Bleed" sheds off a heavy Buckcherry influence, especially in Derek Day's vocals. "On My Phone" pays homage to the classic rock tunes of the '70s and '80s that detailed the constant meeting of someone at the bar -or elsewhere- and bringing them back home, but modernized to the current digital age and having the ability to do everything at the tip of your fingers. Plus, "On My Phone" features one of Day's best vocal performances on Welcome To The Show. The intro to "Made In Hell" gives off a strong synth rock-esque vibe with its summery keyboard and synth use. The song itself has a very summery feel throughout. One of the more interesting tracks on Classless Act's debut is "Walking Contradiction." It opens with a very jazzy intro but builds into a monstrous stadium rock tune, and it plays extremely well with the track's message.
Just like how Welcome To The Show opened up, it closes out with three more massive tunes. Titled "Give It To Me," "Circles," and "Thoughts From A Dying Man." Track ten, "Give It To Me," doubles as a single and is utterly infectious. "Give It To Me" is one of the album's catchiest numbers. It's chock full of more blistering guitar riffs and solos. Oh, and don't forget the cowbell. You can never go wrong with a little bit of cowbell!
"Circles" is a full-blown acoustic rock ballad for the first half, but as it grows, the second half of the track -which is still a ballad- really forces forward with a nearly full-electric approach. "Circles" is one track on the album that I want to love to hear the reactions of anyone who listens to it. However, while "Circles" is tons different than the rest of the album, it perfectly compliments the feel of what Classless Act has done on the rest of Welcome To The Show. The album-closing, "Thoughts From A Dying Man," is similar to "Circles" musically but very built around the use of piano and immediately at the push of start, feels lightyears more heartfelt and emotional than any of the previous tracks. Classless Act has the summer of their lives ahead of them. With a stellar album about to release later this week and currently on tour with their rock heroes in Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Poison, and Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, Classless Act have it all in the palm of their hands, and now it's just sailing on up this fortunate wave they have been granted. The band has had eyes on them since their initial start, but now with their golden musical ticket punched, I'm thoroughly excited for the band and can't wait to see what their future holds. If you can, please be sure to catch Classless Act on tour with dates right now spanning across North America with Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Poison, and Joan Jett and The Blackhearts that runs through the entire summer, ending on September 9th in Las Vegas. Additionally, you can pre-order a physical copy or pre-save their debut album Welcome To The Show here.