GRETA VAN FLEET. That’s a name that has been on everyone’s tongue for awhile now, and with good reason. They have been the darlings of many festivals, and they also have a sound that is equal parts retro while still mining new musical territory. Yes, the LED ZEPPELIN comparisons are there, and completely warranted, but so what? It’s great that a group of youngsters like this can take us back to a time when music was really, really GOOD, right? Right! Their real and true debut studio album Anthem of the Peaceful Army releases on October 19 via Lava/Republic Records and it is really quite good.
Let me just say this, okay? This is definitely a tale of two halves. Early in the record the band heavily leans on their ZEPPELIN influences, which again isn’t a crime. I just felt that the tunes weren’t as strong as some of the later ones. The record really starts to hit its stride with “Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer)” and my absolute favorite “You’re the One.” In fact, if that last one isn’t released as a single and soon, someone at the record company needs to be shitcanned with a quickness. It’s so pretty and it’s a shame it wasn’t a summer release. I can see so many young couples at beach bonfires grooving to this track. I love it!
None of this is to say that the earlier tracks suck or anything, by the way. “When the Curtain Falls” is one of the coolest songs these kids have written (I’m 45…EVERYONE’S a kid to me!!), and it has its own unique quality. “The New Day” is an acoustic number that reeks of positivity in a good way and I can’t help but smile every time I hear it. Some killer slide guitar permeates “Mountain of the Sun” and this is one that I guarantee kills live. Another album standout for sure. I wasn’t sure where “Brave New World” was headed at first, but I certainly enjoyed the ride.
Closer “Anthem” is another song that is truly special from this group, and it’s a fitting way to end things musically, and with its message. At the end of the day GRETA VAN FLEET didn’t set out to reinvent rock and roll with Anthem of the Peaceful Army; they just happen to be really good at channeling the spirits of the past while managing to carve their own path in the musical landscape of 2018 and beyond. And for that I say, “Good for you, boys.” This foursome is gonna be around for a long time, people, so I’d advise you to get onboard.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Anthem”, “When the Curtain Falls”, “You’re the One”, “Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer)”, “Mountain of the Sun”