Greta Van Fleet is the newest band hailed for “bringing back rock and roll.” The group comes from Frankenmuth, Michigan, and consists of a trio of brothers along with their non-related drummer. The band has drawn a large amount of buzz from their festival sets across the nation. They’re arguably one of the hottest bands on the circuit right now. Unfortunately, all of this buzz has not translated into a group that has much to bring to the table. Van Fleet is overtly recycling a blueprint made famous by one of the greatest classic rock bands: Led Zeppelin. This has caused Greta Van Fleet to possibly be the most unoriginal band to come out of this year’s music scene. Their new record, Anthem of the Peaceful Army, may be the biggest Led Zeppelin rip-off ever made. But if you are looking for a-not-as-good Led Zeppelin, then you are in luck. Their resemblance to Zep is uncanny; from the lead singer Josh Kiszka’s high pitched howl to the roaring guitar tone from his brother Jake Kiska, the band has taken fundamental aspects of Led Zeppelin.
Van Fleet’s album, Anthem of the Peaceful Army, opens with a track titled, “Age of Man” which is not as big of a rip -off as the following tracks to come. Unfortunately, when they are not copying classic rock bands, they are writing sub-par classic rock tracks that have little draw. This is not surprising given the record was recorded and written over a two-week span. Not to say that you cannot write a good record in two weeks, but the odds are certainly stacked against you.
The real copying of Zeppelin starts with the second track, “The Cold Wind.” It opens with a bluesy guitar riff before the lead singer chimes in with his high-pitched tone. If you did not know any better, you would think you were listening to Zeppelin. The mimicry continues with the third track on the album, “When the Curtain Falls.” This song also leads with a more intricate guitar riff before the lead singer again comes in with another high-pitched howl. These songs are not only incredibly lazy in instrumentals but are also equally lazy in their lyricism. Very few, if any, of the songs make sense and convey any real message. The chorus to “When the Curtain Falls” goes “When the curtain falls, walk the hallow halls babe, once a valley doll, now you’re not at all.” These lyrics convey a lack of creativity and are about as generic as you can get on a record. There is no point writing about the rest of the record because it all sounds the same. Listen to the record all the way through, and it sounds like one long song. The only song on this record I like is “You’re the One” and it’s not because it is a good song. It’s simply a catchy love song with a like-able chorus. However, it’s really just a generic song that is not unique in any way. But if there is one song on the album that is listenable, it is that one.
Overall, Greta Van Fleet is just a band who received a lot of hype and were pushed further by the music industry who believed they could make money off them. Their debut record conveys this message in an unfortunately obvious way. None of the members of Van Fleet are incredibly talented the way Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones were. I would be surprised if they could get into any esteemed music school in America. Their lack of skill is likely another reason why they are so dependent on riffs and playing that is as rudimentary as knowing the alphabet. In an era of music where rock n roll has been thought to be dead, Van Fleet so badly wants to be its savior. Hopefully, Van Fleet realize they are just copying a band that simply cannot be touched and decide to expand on their sound.
COVER PHOTO: Triplem