Y’all know how much I’m diggin’ on newcomers GRETA VAN FLEET, right? Four young kids with a Classic Rock I.Q. that would make most people’s heads explode. Quite frankly it still amazes me that two of these guys are 21 and two are 18 years old. How the FUCK are they making music like this at their age, right?!? The only thing I can surmise is that they all have parents who raised them right with a steady diet of guitar-driven classic rock. And thank the Gods they did, because this band is the real deal and then some.
A new double EP was recently released called From the Fires (Republic Records)and it is sensational. It’s got four new tracks recorded at Rust Belt Studios in Detroit: two new originals in “Talk On the Street” and “Edge of Darkness” as well as two covers in Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” and “Meet On the Ledge” by the late 60’s folk rock band FAIRPORT CONVENTION. The four songs from the band’s debut EP Black Smoke Rising are here as well, and if you haven’t heard those already just hit yourself over the head with a blunt instrument.
The two new tracks build upon the band’s sound honed on the previous effort. Vocalist Josh Kiszka sounds like a man possessed by the demons of rock and roll past, and it’s still so hard to believe that this HUGE voice is coming from someone so young. At the same time, the band behind him is on FIRE through each and every track. Brothers Jake and Sam (guitars and bass/keys respectively) and best friend Danny Wagner (drums) lay down a sonic painting that rivals the Mona Lisa over which Josh adds his brush strokes to put the finishing touches on it.
Josh Kiszka is truly a once-in-a-lifetime vocalist, and when you hear him wail away on “Highway Tune” and “Safari Song” you can’t help but go, “What the FUCK did I just hear?!? Did 1970 Robert Plant just walk in??” And believe me, that is the mother of all compliments from me. “Flower Power” is another amazing track, and also one that hits me right in the heart. “Black Smoke Rising” has a funky groove, killer hook, and excellent backup vocals. All told I loved this record; it’s got all the perfect elements of yesteryear while still sounding fresh.
Plus, the version of “A Change Is Gonna Come” could set several city blocks on fire. Look, if you’re not a GRETA VAN FLEET fan by now then you probably need your head examined. This band IS the future of rock and roll, and with From the Fires they have only cemented their position as a band to watch in 2018 and beyond. Seriously, their music is so good that I am willing to bet that a year from now anyone who is a naysayer will be fully onboard. Trust me, this will happen.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM