- Artist: Greta Van Fleet
- Title: The Battle at Garden’s Gate
- Released: 2021
- Format: Vinyl
- Genre: Classic Rock
- Beverage of Choice: Elysian Contact Haze IPA
GvF’s sophomore album sounds more like themselves than anything that came before. Cranking up the opening track “Heat Above” rewards with Hammond drone and Deep-Purple-esque build to huge, bombastic (in a good way) chord progressions, clean guitar and Josh Kiszka’s distinctive vocals. Just ignore the initial industry criticism that there is too much Led Zep in the mix, this band is unique, creative and owes nothin’ to nobody.
Michigan never had it so good friends, and now they’ve gone and lost another great group to Nashville. For those of you music lovers that have had their heads in the sand during this pandemic year, Greta van Fleet burst onto the rock scene a few years back with intensity not seen in a decade, fueled by 70’s-tinged classic rock and a shrug for those too jaded or Pitchfork-enamored to recognize that rock music has always and will always pay homage to itself in it’s best form. To those cynics and doubters who claim to love music, I defy you to take a listen to “Age of Machine” or “The Barbarians” and find something to complain about. The band is tight, loud and consistent in their musical vision and execution. Josh’s voice doesn’t so much resemble Plant’s as combine a variety of influences into a soulful expression of heavy music in 2021. I hear Geddy Lee, Jon Anderson, David Byron and Freddy Mercury as his direct rock ancestors and no bad thing to be mentioned in the same paragraph as those guys!
“Stardust Chords” is a standout track for me, again combining Hammond B3 with clean guitar, crisp delivery and soaring vocals. “Light My Love” has a folk-rock feel with a central piano motif that repeats in the huge electric guitar melody. Slower paced and beautifully measured, any band, new or old, would be proud to be parents to this song.
Having listened to the vinyl record half a dozen times now I can confidently say that this album will be in constant rotation alongside the familiar and much loved music I’ve collected over the past 40+ years; Greta van Fleet is here to stay – suck it Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Variety and all of you industry hacks who wouldn’t know a good tune from a kick in the pants.