Before getting into what this band sounds like and whether you will like them, one question flashes in neon: Did they really graduate in 1998? The answer is actually no; we fact checked it against facebook.com. Kidding.
According to the band, the Class of 98 represent a process of maturation that began in 1998 when their head of the class, singer/guitarist Steve Wilson, decided to pursue music full-time in Nashville. More recently, Wilson connected with drummer Colby Pitts, bassist Ben Harms, and guitarist Nick Baumhardt. Together, they’d play any Nashville venue that would allow a fledgling band access to its PA.
Over the past two years, the band earned a record deal with the Militia Group, a California indie, and refined the songs from those early shows into memorable tracks that owe something to emo genre. Rather than reflect the whiney fodder of currently popular MTV-mo bands, the Class of 98 finds its roots in the quiet, intense ardor of bands like Jimmy Eat World and Braid. The band’s debut, Touch This and Die, reflects what the genre used to be about: straightforward paeans about love and loss. On “What I’m Dying to Say,” Wilson gently croons to a lost lover about things unsaid before escalating his outburst into a climax howled over a surge of guitars.
The Class of 98 will be matriculating into venues close to their Nashville home in the coming weeks to support Touch This, which arrived in stores yesterday.
The Class of 98 tour dates:
1/25, Nashville, TN (The End – CD Release Party) 1/28, Memphis, TN (Skate Park of Memphis)1/29, Lexington, KY (Firebird Studios)2/11, Bowling Green, KY (The Hilltopper)