Album review: Greta Van Fleet – From the Fires

Greta Van Fleet made a splash earlier this year when they released their debut EP “Black Smoke Rising”, with its Zeppelin-esque single “Highway Tune” spending five consecutive weeks at #1 on the Mainstream Rock Radio charts. Old-school fans flocked to them, mainly it seems because, let’s face it, they sound a lot like Led Zeppelin.

But let’s clear something right off the bat. I saw a lot of people post on social media that “Rock isn’t dead! Here’s a new band that sounds like Led Zeppelin!”. Well, if rock’s survival hinges on a quartet of barely legal kids sounding like a 50 year old band, pass me the shovel and I’ll dig a hole for rock ‘n roll. (If anyone wants to record the definitive post-rock album, feel free to use that as the album title)

Great Van Fleet IS indeed proof that rock isn’t dead, but it’s because they bring the same energy, swagger and fearlessness that rock’s pioneers had. They’ve obviously riffled through their parent’s record collections, but they understood what made those albums so vibrant, and why they’re still relevant after so many decades. The songs have energy and dynamics, and all four musicians (The Kiszka brothers – twins Josh (vocals) and Jake (guitar) Kiszka, younger brother Sam (bass, keyboards) and drummer Danny Wagner) complement each other perfectly, always playing what the song needs. Their musical bravado reminds us that rock ‘n roll is a young man’s game.

Greta Van Fleet (Photo by Chris Junior)

The double EP has four new songs to complement the earlier release which is included here. They were recorded last month at Rust Belt Studios in Detroit with Al Sutton and Marlon Young, the same duo that produced “Black Smoke Rising”. In just a few months, their songwriting has evolved and matured, which is amazing coming from kids 18 and 21, and they’re starting to sound like themselves too in the process.

For any rock fan worth his or her salt, “From the Fires” is an essential album to add to your collection. Crank it up, you won’t regret it.




Jean-Frederic Vachon
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