When I find a band that I really like, it’s hard for me not to write featured singles for everything they release. In the case of CLASSLESS ACT, I’ve been tempted to review all of their singles, as well as their debut album, but have held back at least a little bit, so I don’t spam Tuonela Magazine with too many articles on one act. Now that their debut release, “Welcome to the Show,” is out, they’ve since released some acoustic material, a few David Bowie covers, but no new original singles. “Storm Before the Calm” was indeed on the album, but the single that was released on June 23rd, 2023, was unique in that it features Darryl McDaniels, aka the DMC of RUN DMC.
Apart from being one of my favorite songs on the album, the “Storm Before the Calm” single was also intriguing because I recall an open call for fans to be in the music video months and months ago… was it even before the release of the album? Frankly, I can’t remember anymore, but I’d wondered on and off if I’ve somehow missed the release, but every time I went to check YouTube, I couldn’t find it, which now makes perfect sense.
Whichever came first, the chicken or the egg, in this collaboration, remains to be seen, but DMC did perform this song with the band a couple of times last year, namely at the Sofi Stadium in Los Angeles, so that could surely be related to the origins of this official re-recording. This recording features the band in a boxing ring, very stylishly done.
The song itself is a certified rocker, with a soft opening that builds in power, with the rockin’ guitars from Griffin Tucker and Dane Pieper, to the slick bass from Franco Gravante and the fabulous groove of drummer Chuck McKissock, all the way through to vocalist Derek Day‘s biggest and best wail on the album (as well as the clever lyrics), everything in this song is red hot. The music video version of course has some more ambient noises from the boxing ring scene, where Day and DMC face off in an equal-parts dramatic and campy video.
If there is one complaint about this new song, it’s only that DMC‘s contribution seems a little… boring? He starts his rap extremely slowly and we were hoping he’d punch it up at some point but he just doesn’t and it sucked a bit of the wind from our sails. It’s not bad, per se, and when Derek Day interviewed him about his contribution to the song, his lyrics make sense, but if you’re dressing up a song that’s such a hard-hitting and energetic banger, you want to make it even better than it was before. In this case, the rap slows things down, rather than speeding it up, which results in the rap draining a little energy from the otherwise awesome song.
That said, this piece is so good that it deserves to be noticed and played, so whichever version you think is best, that’s up to you to decide, but hopefully we can all agree that the song is an awesome hit no matter which version you prefer!