Greta Van Fleet

Featured

The Battle At Garden’s Gate is the second studio album from a band which had been on their first world tour when Covid-19 struck.

The Battle At Garden’s Gate on Lava Republic Records

Instead of complaining about the abrupt halt to their goals they spent time reflecting on what had happened to them and to their world.

Josh Kiszka; Jake Kiszka; Sam Kiszka; Danny Wagner wrote new songs they recorded in Nashville. The result is a much more complex set of tunes in which these young musicians did something quite amazing. They found their sound. Perhaps not a signature yet but still an audible gust that sets them apart from their peers.

Tracks like My Way Soon and Heat Above revel in the freedom of making music and being able to hit the road where you can make your own rules. It’s not for nothing the band’s earlier hit was called Highway Tune.

Age of Machine displays a new side to this group. A progressive component that lifts Josh’s vocals to new heights. I think his vocals have set them apart as genuine stars in the making.

His brothers Sam and Jake form a guitar sound that is all their own. You hear a chord progression that is Greta Van Fleet’s unique stamp. A mix of progressive rock with melody rooted in 1960’s psychedelia. Not a simple feat.

Producer Greg Kurstin (Foo Fighters) has brought out something deep in their arsenal of heavy melodic soft but hard edged rock that was there on the debut Anthem of the Peaceful Army but now is on the March with opuses like Broken Bells and Built By Nations.

This album is highly recommended. With the pandemic starting to lift let’s hope we can see these guys back on the road soon.

Post Malone/Hollywood’s Bleeding

“Hollywood’s Bleeding” on Republic Records was released on September 5, 2019. The follow-up to the multi-platinum “Beer Bongs & Bentleys” has reached #1 on Billboard this week.

The Syracuse, NY born, Grapevine, TX raised rap/rocker has become the country’s top performer.

I must admit that I never expected such a personality to become so popular. He has such a disarming voice. And his tattooed appearance includes face ink, perhaps the last taboo in the pop world!

His real name is Austin Richard Post. A rap name generator gave him Post Malone. This method of name selection seems too easy. Like many a millenial idol, his music is also too simple.

The 18 tracks are diverse in style. The lyrics are repetitive. Several collaborations are featured including Ozzy Osbourne. Like the tastes of many young listeners today he is all over the place.

The title track opens the proceedings with a lament that tinsel town is bleeding from all the sex and drugs of its stars. Without naming names the vocals are strong.

If you are an older listener there is little to find here you have not heard before. Catchy melodies, boastful raps, and syncopated drum machines are omnipresent.

The strength for me are the vocal delivery of this often trite material. After all, Mr. Malone is just 24. If he lasts into his thirties as a music star he will hopefully mature into a better songwriter.

“Enemies” is all about the seeming impossibility to have real friends in a business of entourages and stringers.

“Allergic” is a catchy piece. This New wave groove pulsates with lyrics about drugs hindering any chance for a relationship.

“Circles” is the latest single in release. A basic pop track about letting go of being together. The lyrics are among the many trite offerings in this long playlist.

The chorus: ‘run away but we’re running in circles. run away. run away’. Sounds like Jack Johnson. This is the kind of track young listeners reward with multiple streams today.

The delivery of the material is good. The vocals are consistently good across the songs offered in this collection. The collaborations are okay.

For rock purists, the song “Take What You Want” feat. Ozzy Osbourne is the only dose you will find here. It’s the only track with electric guitars too.

Distilled to its basic elements this record sounds like a Kurt Cobain type singer complaining about being rich & famous.

Auto tune is what divides today’s listeners from previous generations. In my opinion there is too much of it here.

Post Malone has managed to become a star at 24. He realizes the pitfalls are many for someone in his position. Hopefully he stays around long enough to release a less commercially targeted effort.

This album worked. He is debuting this week, September 21, 2019 at #1 on the chart not just in the US but in several countries around the world.