It's been a hardscrabble climb for Nashville modern rockers Skytown Riot, and while the ladder to success seems to stretch into an infinite sky sometimes, vocalist/guitarist Van Gallik, bassist Jason Fruchey, and drummer Sebastian Dunkel have settled in for the long haul.
The band launches into 2017 with Alive In The Fire, a 13-song album of rock 'n' roll urgency that defies easy categorization, a point on the map where modern rock juggernauts like 10 Years and Shinedown commingle with the darker tones of acts like My Chemical Romance and Evanescence. It's the band's most personal body of work to date, and that's saying a lot, given that the group's 2013 EP, Soul Or System, earned accolades in Alternative Press, a video premiere by Substream Magazine, and propelled the band on tour across the country.
"You can't save this," Gallik pleads on "In Dissolution,” Skytown Riot's new single — but the trio isn't trying to save modern rock. They're the sentries on the wall, lighting signal pyres to let all those who see it burn know that it's very much alive. From the funky staccato bravado of "Devil's Masquerade" to the gossamer melodies of "Paint Me The Sky”, from the foreboding dreamscapes of "One Day" to the upbeat, heavily grooving “In The Grey" –– Alive In The Fire is a record that demands the volume knob be turned up and broken off.
As sonically powerful as their new record is, it's a whole different level to experience the band live. Gallik, Fruchey, and Dunkel still feel it every time they get on stage – the energy from a seething crowd of screaming fans. "That's where the release is," Gallik adds. “We find comfort in very few places that we would really call home, and being on the stage, big or small, is definitely one of those places. We love playing to people who come out to escape their realities, because that's exactly what we're doing as well."