Skytown Riot: Soul or System Review

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“Soul or System” EP

1. Sensational

2. Misbehave

3. The Afterglow

4. House of the Rising sun

5. Runaway Princess

6. Soul Or System

Skytown Riot are a new band out of Knoxville, Tennessee. The four-piece band — Van Gallik (lead vocals/guitar), Jimi Judiscak (drums), Jason Gostkowski (bass) and Cody Hensley (keys) — is set to release their new EP, Soul Or System, on November 19.

Skytown Riot are an Euromerican Rock band with a Mix feel of muse & area Rock.I have ever been a big fan of this kind of mood rock, so I go into this review eyes wide open & I found myself far from disappointed. The band said it’s taken a few years to find their sounds and what a sound the band have found!

The 6 track Ep kicks of with the slow burning “Sensational”. It’s a strong start to the EP, setting the scene & showing you what this band all about. The opening Piano (as used in the promo video) is excellent, that’s then overlayed by a sweeping orchestra & epic guitar riffs. The drumming from Jimi Judiscak is also fantastic through out this song. Take the time to listen to Jimi on drums, he is very very good.

The Band have just released this promo video for the “Soul or System EP

 ”Misbehave” moves the EP up a gear! what a song. Van Gallik vocals as spot on, the bands song writing skills start to show off with great layering of sounds & music. Love it when bands take the time to add cool little touches, like when Gallik sing the lyrics “Can you show me where to hide, when the saints come stumbling home” a marching boot sound is played & its a great touch that doesn’t go un-noticed. Its definitely one of the outstanding tracks on the EP

As the piano opens up to “The Afterglow” you know your in for a treat. Its one of the best songs I have heard this year, full of passion and heartache from Gallik great vocals. Its got everything you want from an Epic ballad. The piano is breath taking, The orchestra & cello by Cecelia Miller is flawless, The soft heartbeat of the drums that then goes into double in the middle of the song is all embracing. My favourite lyric on the record “I’ll be waiting for you, the same place I’ve always been, when you feel the afterglow, because it’s burning through your soul” It’s the best song on the EP!

“Sometimes a song just sticks with you and becomes the soundtrack for a specific type of moment in your life,” explains vocalist/guitarist Van Gallik. “Our hope is that people will truly feel something after hearing this song.  From its infancy we could tell that it would be different than any we had written before.  And it’s not that we set out to write a ballad either.  But over several months of writing, performing, moulding and recording, it just kind of happened.  And now it’s probably our favourite to perform!”

Purevolume have the Premire up of the epic track “The Afterglow” from “Soul or System” EP.

You can tell a lot from a band based on the cover they choose to do. When I saw “House of the rising sun” on the track listing I was worried. I’m not a fan of this song at all. However I was surprised by what I heard. As a fan of TV shows like “Walking Dead” & “True Blood” this song would be a perfect fit on both the shows soundtracks. The arrangement is dark & bold, showing a darker side to the band. A great cover of The Animals 1964 classic. It offers a good balance to the EP & a great fit for this band.

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Track 5. “Runaway Princess” is the breakout song from the band. Penned awhile ago by the band, its was the start to the kind of band Skytown Riot wanted to be. Not the strongest song on the EP & It’s very influenced from other band. It just doesn’t feel as fresh as the other tracks on the EP. The song has become infectious among video-gaming YouTubers, as a go-to soundtrack for fan-made battleground videos.

Runaway princess

Skytown Riot save the best for last with the EP title track “Soul Or System”. The band need to put a call into Eon Productions the film production company behind the James Bonds movies! because they’ve written a Bond theme tune if I have ever heard one. Even the lyric are about Bond! Based on the lyrics the New Bond film should be called “Gun in your hand” OR “Your the only one” it’s a fitting close to the EP. it’s over the top & powerful. Another standout track on this 6 track EP.

The Verdict

Skytown Riot have clearly spent a lot of time working on every track on ”Soul or System” to make them sound the best it can be. The production work on the EP is very strong, along with the bands excellent EP art work. This isn’t an EP, it’s a lunch of band that has worked hard to tick all the right boxes to be as big as the stadium rock bands that have come before them. Like all new bands it’s hard to brake out of your local scene in Knoxville to the big league. But If the band can follow up this EP with a great album in 2014 it could happen for them. When EP’s seem to be all the rage these days Skytown Riot have produced one of the best of 2013.

For the band Sky’s the limit and it’s going to be a Riot getting there!

Score 8.0/10 James -Audiofire team (Twitter Greedo75) Any feedback always welcome below.

“Soul or System” is out on the 19th November.Note:- it’s not confirmed if its going to be on UK iTunes yet

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