I only discovered these guys a few weeks ago and already I'm looking forward to following their career as they move forward. Their music is an amalgamation of what they grew up listening to, youthful energy & excitement and a lot of talent. They've been compared to Led Zeppelin which, while a great compliment, also adds a lot of pressure to a new band. I understand the comparison - they blend hard rock, acoustic songs, high pitched, wailing vocals and overall excellent musicianship. But while there are definite similarities, Greta Van Fleet is their own band with their own sound. They do indeed sound like a throwback to a more exciting time for rock music, but they're very modern sounding too. I have their original EP, Black Smoke Rising, so my review is more focused on the four, heretofore unreleased tracks. Every song on Black Smoke Rising is great. My personal favorite is Flower Power, but I really love Black Smoke Rising too. Highway Tune and Safari Song are probably the better known songs from the first EP and they need no promotion from me.
The four new songs on this EP - Edge of Darkness, A Change Is Gonna Come, Meet On The Ledge and Talk On The Street - are very strong songs. There is no let down to be found on this EP. What I think separates this band from so many other rock bands is their ability to write riff-based songs. Anybody can hit power chords on a guitar. These guys write riffs that have more substance and rhythm than your typical, power chord-filled rock song. The vocals are outstanding, the bass is very interesting to listen to and the drums are powerhouse and not unlike John Bonham. Of the new tracks, Edge of Darkness is my favorite and Meet On The Ledge is my least favorite (and by least favorite, I mean it's a solid B+ tune). The keyboards on A Change Is Gonna Come provide a fantastic sound and define the song. This album is definitely worth checking out if you're an older fan of 70s rock and, for the younger fans, if you want to know why your parents love Zeppelin, Rush and Aersomith.
It's time to get on board the Greta Van Fleet train. These kids have a very bright future as long as some record company doesn't come along and try to redefine their sound or push them more toward a commercial sound. With all of the sudden attention being paid to them, my fear is that they'll be rushed to put out more product before they've honed their next wave of songs into all they can become. Given the right amount of time, some more time on the road (where improvisation in concert will lead to the basis of new songs) and the proper career guidance that includes a vision of the long term future of the band, there is no limit to what these talented young men can achieve.