Pretty much everybody loves Led Zeppelin. And pretty much everybody who loves Led Zeppelin loves to hate Greta Van Fleet for loving Led Zeppelin. Or something like that; to be honest, I’ve never really understood all the animosity. They’re hardly the first band to wear their influences on the sleeve. Or the first band to worship unabashedly at the altar of Page, Plant, Bonham and Jones. But even if I don’t know what all the fuss is about, I do know this: All those haters do not want to come within 100 yards of the brother-led Michigan quartet’s debut album (which follows a pair of EPs). Because as expected, GVF — singer Josh Kiszka, guitarist Jake Kiszka, bassist and keyboardist Josh Kiszka and drummer Danny Wagner — come bearing a whole lotta homage for the classic style and sonics of Zep. Front and centre, of course, are Josh’s Robert Plantalike rusty-siren wail and lyrics about lovers, leavers and “the lands of ice and snow.” Then there are Jake’s spiky blues-rock licks, high-neck slide solos, folksy acoustic strumming and echo-pedal effects. And underpinning it all are Wagner’s funky, bottom-heavy grooves, along with Josh’s roaming basslines and majestic keyboards. Granted, there’s very little here you haven’t heard before — assuming you’re old enough to have heard 20 minutes of FM radio in your lifetime. But for those who can hear past the derivativity, there’s also very little that’s intrinsically wrong with these note-perfect renditions of ’70s blues-rock. And besides, until anybody from Zeppelin decides to make some music that sounds like Zeppelin, Greta Van Fleet are as close as we’re all gonna get. Maybe that’s really what everybody’s so pissed about.
Greta Van Fleet | Anthem of the Peaceful Army
The Michigan retro-rockers' debut album offers up a whole lotta homage.