Album Review: Greta Van Fleet

“Anthem of the Peaceful Army”.  Lava Records.  Bluesy hard rock.

The cover art evokes a new age.  A founding of a new light in the dark.                  

The debut release from this Michigan based group is fresh flower power. 

Following their debut double  E.P. “From The Fires”,  this group has lit up the music world. 

Now Grammy nominated for the first time: “Highway Tune”; “Black Smoke Rising”; Best new artist; Rock album of the year! 

Timing is everything.  Many years have passed since a bluesy hard rock band was promoted let alone accepted!

Greta Van Fleet may remind music fans of Led Zeppelin, but their approach to music is theirs alone.

Lead vocalist Joshua Kiszka has an amazing voice that soars on many of the 10 songs in this collection.  Creating a new light in the darkness,

“Age of Man” opens the proceedings.  The human tribe must find its way never sure of when the end will come.  But sure that the love/kindness gets passed on to each generation.  This sentiment would be easy to dismiss if it were not delivered so well. 

“The Cold Wind” describes the death of patriarchy.  The lyrics are tightly written by the band throughout this album.    A churning blues rocker that instructs the mother to take care of the children and sell their food source to stay alive. 

The jamming on this song by Joshua’s brothers, Jacob (guitars) and Samuel (bass/keys) is quite reminiscent of Led Zep.  Which is to say that it has so much depth and feel to it. 

And then we get to “When The Curtain Falls”, the first single, about a fallen movie queen.  It’s a snarky ode to obsession with image.  I was impressed that these young players seem to have a maturity beyond typical rants.  A playful wink and nod happens throughout the entirety of this record.

“Watching Over” is about the environment.  I believe these new age hippies are just what we need now.  The song basically questions who will become a steward/watcher when the air and water are so clearly in demise. 

Side one concludes with “Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer)”.     Drummer Daniel Wagner is superb on this track.  A crackling old school blues rocker that will leave any listener happy and kind of awestruck.  

Side two opens with what could be another single, “You’re The One” is an acoustic love song.  Very upbeat.  Almost pop.  But still retains the soul that Greta have in spades.

“The New Day” features terrific musical phrasing.  Describing the nurturing of a new soul in the garden who given the chance may bloom into a new woman soon.  Again the assertion of a new age light to show the way.  Also gives the album a theme that connects the songs.  Not that this amazing debut needs to be a concept record, but it feels patchy at times. 

“Mountain of the Sun” while not a bad song is the one I kind of responded with a shrug.  Then it picked up with a bounce that felt Grateful Dead; made me want to dance. 

“Brave New World” is a call to reject fear and lies.  The instrumental layers towards the end will remind many listeners of early Black Sabbath.  This is a great track.

“Anthem” brings home everything that connects each song. 

The need to form an opinion, ignore everything, and fall into the trap of cynicism by letting the news of the day form our future is our modern day problem. 

The song is an acoustic round that simply states ‘that the world is what the world is made of’.  It’s what each of us puts forward that makes the world. Again, depending on the listener, whether or not you accept this new age type of view.

Greta Van Fleet is off to a good start.   Go to http://www.gretavanfleet.com to check out these songs!

      

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