18 Apr 2018

Greta Van Fleet: A Review

Accused of sounding like my favourite band, I had to give them a spin.

It’s not often that a band is accused of ripping off Led Zeppelin. Firstly it’s pretty hard to sing like Plant, and it’s even harder to play like Page. So when I heard people accusing a bunch of youngsters called Greta Van Fleet of sounding like them, I had to give it a less than openminded crack.

Formed in 2012 in Frankenmuth, Michigan by 3 brothers, Greta Van Fleet have had an astounding run recently. Their debut single “Highway Tune” topped the billboards, which is unprecedented for a band of their style. I remember hearing from Slash a few years ago that rock needs a revival for it to survive and take over from hip hop.

This may well be the revival rock music needs.

And boy am I excited for that. Listening to these guys was an absolute pleasure. I found myself dancing along to it, trying to sing even though I didn’t even know what was meant to come next. I felt like this was what Led Zeppelin was first like to the masses, on their first and second albums. It was so great to listen to.

My second listen through however made me realise that like Led Zeppelin, they had a way to go. The drums really didn’t have the intricacies of Bonham, and the guitars didn’t have the flair of Page. But hopefully if the boys don’t get in over their heads, they will be able to focus on honing their skills. Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely great, but still it needs to grow. Same way as Led Zeppelin. Sure the Immigrant Song is considered one of their best songs, but not due to sophistication, but rather sheer fun. When it comes to sophistication, I believe Kashmir takes the cake for popularity and complexity. Greta Van Fleet are still in their Immigrant Song stages. They need a Led Zeppelin’s Fourth kind of moment to really change the musical world.

If that happens, I sure as hell will be incredibly pleased that they are leading the charge.

They have 2 EPs out, the latest one being more like an album. I really love their album covers, which feel slightly nostalgic yet modern to me, Stranger Things style. I can get pleasure out of the artwork on the covers, which I value a lot in my music.

The songs don’t have a particular flow to them through the EP/album however. There is no conceptual glue that brings them together quite the same way as legendary debut albums such as Hybrid Theory or even Led Zeppelin’s First. This is however not particularly important in the context of an EP.

I truly look forward to the first album these talented boys produce, and will keenly be listening to it when they get to it.

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