Greta van Fleet - a Michigan based Blues Rock band - exploded on to the charts with their hit single ‘Highway Tune’ in March last year. Since then, many debates have arisen regarding their similarities to Led Zeppelin with frontman Josh Kiszka sounding almost identical to Robert Plant.
Tribute or rip-off, Greta van Fleet caused a splash! It’s no surprise then that their debut album ‘Anthem of the Peaceful Army’ was highly anticipated. The album offers everything fans hoped for, and, there are also some juicy niblets to convert the nay-sayers
There are many Bluesy thrills here that are what fans have come to expect. Pieces such as 'Brave New World’, ‘Lover, Leaver’ or the single ‘When the Curtain Falls’ feature some truly heartfelt instrumentation that will make even the most committed hip-hop heads tap their feet.
Riffs and solos by guitarist Jake Kiszka are full of life, character, and energy. Accompanied by a rhythm section of bassist/keyboardist Sam Kiszka and drummer David Wagner that seamlessly locks together, the instrumentals are tightly mixed and sound great.
We can’t forget to mention Josh on vocals with his howling voice. It’s awesome. There’s no other way to put it. Those who discredit him by unfavourably calling him a rip-off Robert Plant clearly forget that Plant is often cited as the greatest rock vocalist of all time. Sounding like him is no easy feat. Josh also understands what the songs are about and appropriately adds certain inflections; a touch many pop singers lack.
The album is not all giant rock songs. Calmer folk ballads rooted in 60s’ hippy culture, that are more reminiscent of The Beatles than Zeppelin, are also present. Bizarrely it is these songs that are the true standouts here. Songs like ‘You’re the One’, ‘The New Day’ and ‘Anthem’ are gems that espouse loving your fellow man and peace on earth.
Perhaps the band only intended this to be a tribute to a bygone era. That does not stop them carrying a surprising amount of relevancy in today's climate with no one agreeing on anything.
If there is anything negative to say about the album it would be about the final track. Titled ’Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer)’, it’s just an extended version of ‘Lover, Leaver’ - the few minutes of each song are exactly the same. It seems sort of pointless and ‘Anthem’ would have been a far superior conclusion to the album.
All in all, ‘Anthem of the Peaceful Army’ is a wonderfully streamlined debut by Greta van Fleet that proves rock still has some breath left in its lungs.