GRETA VAN FLEET-Anthem Of The Peaceful Army

Lava/Republic Records

18 October 2018 by Michel van de Moosdijk

About a year ago this web magazine published a review of the first EP ‘Black Smoke Rising’ of this USA quartet formed around the three brothers Josh (vocals), Sam (bass) Jake (guitar) Kiszka and drummer Daniel Wagner and we asked ourselves the question based on the musical potential these boys displayed on the four songs on the EP if we had heard an important part of the future of rock and roll…. A little while later the group came out with an eight song record called ‘From The Fires’ (that included the four tracks from ‘Black Smoke Rising’) and again we were impressed. And the band wagon started to roll for Greta Van Fleet. Almost a year later most critics have agreed on the fact that these guys are on the right track. Sold out shows everywhere, admiration from Sir Elton John, a TV appearance at the Jimmy Fallon Show in the USA, a sold out Canadian tour, a big performance at the prestigious German festival Rock Am Ring and the list is growing. Originally the band had the plan to release another EP but with the growing interest the decision was made to launch and record a full CD with ten new songs entitled ‘Anthem Of The Peaceful Army’. The way singer Josh presents himself on stage makes you wonder whether this lad got stuck in the sixties/seventies Woodstock era. He might dress like a hippie perhaps but as soon as he starts to sing you forget all about that. Yes, Greta Van Fleet sounds like a modern version of Led Zeppelin, basically from day one but the songs are good, the performance immaculate so does it really matter if the band sounds like this, maybe not a full hundred percent totally original? I could not care less as Greta Van Fleet gives rock and roll as we know it a welcome kick up the bum. In a year the group has grown as songwriters and performers. Especially guitarist Jake Kiszka is the living exponent of that growth. This lad has a SOUND! Listen to his impressive slide work on ,,Lover Leaver (Taker Believer)’’ and the semi-acoustic rockers ,,You’re The One’’ and ,,The New Day’’ while CD-opener ,,Age Of Man’’ for me is one of the best songs this band has given us so far. It is not that the music of Greta Van Fleet is super complicated. In principle the format is as simple as can be: drums, bass, guitar and a singer. They have no need for big choirs of orchestral manoeuvres, these guys play songs, simple, honest, basic but with power and a certain charisma. If they keep it together and are well managed these four dudes will conquer the rock and roll world. ‘Anthem Of The Peaceful Army’ (the title track is a subtle acoustic song and a bit doubtful at moments with its ‘camp fire’ character) is just a recent calling card of more magic to come our way in the future!