Welcome to the show! A very fitting statement as well as the title of the debut full-length record from the sort-of Los Angeles based Classless Act. Although their band logo has Los Angeles, CA in it, this quintet hails not only from Southern California, but also Texas and Argentina. It’s a fitting statement for the act that is currently playing on the largest stage one can imagine, as the opening act for the Stadium Tour, featuring co-headliners Def Leppard and Motley Crue. With a June 24th release date, the 12 track launch provides plenty of fuel for this global assemblage of musicians to welcome rock fans to the show.
As with many first complete albums, bands have typically typically spent years honing their skills. Those years pay off in proficiency, not only as it applies to songwriting, but in repeatedly playing their stable of tunes live. That repetition also gives voice to further inspiration, allowing the songs to evolve and get refined over time. Welcome To The Show definitely seems to have benefited from that natural maturation. The opener, their namesake track, Classless Act, features fellow road mate Motley Crue’s Vince Neil lending his unmistakable intonation to the second verse. This searing rocker with a driving bass rhythm from Franco Gravante is accented by sizzling background guitars. The second track, This Is For You, puts singer Derek Day’s vocal range on full display. Also notable to this track, the guitar solo is presented by another guest artist, Justin Hawkins from The Darkness.
Time To Bleed offers up a siren-like guitar intro on a mid-tempo statement about the state of the world. Next is a power ballad about romance in the hand-held technology age, On My Phone. Lead guitarist Griffin Tucker pitches up a bewitching, knuckle ball of a solo that leads back into a powerful climactic chorus. Subsequent is a mid-tempo rocker with an interesting key drop leading into the first chorus. All That We Are furthermore offers a screaming guitar solo, which is a common theme across the record. Rounding out the first half of the collection of songs is a song which both Day and rhythm guitarist Dane Pieper agree is the one track yet to be released that they cannot wait for people to hear. A very diverse track, it begins with an eerie piano, and quickly transitions to a rowdy and thumping guitar riff. This number takes the listener through many moods and feels, but never loses its allusion of a person who you could swear was Made In Hell.
The back half of the record kicks off with a haunting ballad highlighted by alluring guitar interplay between Pieper and Tucker. Day also lays down ironic lyrics throughout the melancholy Storm Before The Calm. There is an 1980’s style galloping rocker in Haunting Love. Walking Contradiction creeps in with a smooth jazz intro that quickly give way to a 90’s alternative influenced anthem. Chuck McKissock primes the pump of Give It To Me, with a barrage that ushers in the wailing guitar structure. This one is reminiscent of the sex, drugs and rock n’ roll entry of days past, as evidenced by the corresponding music video. Winding down the album is a wandering rocker with a tinge of a country feel. Circles articulates one’s misguided attempts to navigate this thing we call life. Thoughts From A Dying Man completes the collection. This gloomy story depicts the disconcerted thoughts of a person in despair who feels perhaps lost and at the end of their rope. This song is evidence of the band’s ability to not only communicate in diverse song stylings, but to weave them in and out of each other with seasoned execution.
As debut records go, this one worthy of note. If you are looking for tasteful guitar work, intermingled with scintillating vocal deliveries, all backed up by solidly laid out rhythm, you will almost assuredly enjoy Welcome To The Show. This group of five young men have shown their collective ability to sew a tapestry of different feels and emotions within the framework of well-crafted rock songs. Whether or not this one will go down in the annals as one of the greatest debut albums, time will tell on that front. But of one thing there is no doubt, this is a noteworthy initial effort. With two track produced by legendary king maker Bob Rock, these guys have definitely risen to the level of you should hear this. If you’re looking for a piece of advice, “Find yourself a Classless Act.”