Skytown Riot – the Nashville-based mainstream rock act led by frontman Van Gallik – has dropped their latest LP, “Alive in the Fire.” It may exist in a genre that doesn’t get near the attention that it used to, but Skytown Riot’s new album is still an album that anyone who is an old or new fan of the genre can appreciate.
First, the biggest reason to like what the band does is Gallik. He brings a lot of passion here lyrically and vocally to this album and his song writing is good here too. “Breaking Silence” sets the tone for the album as the opening track. The cool opening for the track sounds like an updated thematic mainstream rock version of the intro of Matchbook Romance’s “Monster” and the song lets itself be driven by drums. The drums and the cool sampled elements from that intro steer you through the song and make it enjoyable. After “Breaking Silence”, the albums goes into “In Dissolution” – a song that contrasts the opening track perfectly. It’s driven by guitars throughout the song and has an energy that never lets up. The album is ordered perfectly that way. Each song has an element that drives it, and then it leads into a new track with a different element that it uses primarily. It makes for a great listen. When combined with Gallik’s flair for writing good rock songs, it’s even better.
You can tell that Skytown Riot loves working in the studio, but they exist mainly as a live act. These songs reflect that, they were written to be played in a live setting. There’s nothing wrong with that. The energy should, and from what I’ve heard – does - translate well. If you’re still listening to mainstream rock like a lot of us still are, these guys should be added to your playlists and your radar for live shows. They’re surely on the rise.