By Stephanie Arenas
Greta Van Fleet shot down my high expectations after the release of their 2019 album “Anthem of the Peaceful Army.” Due to the generic lyrics and repetitive sound, I was expecting a fairly disappointing album this time around.
However, the opposite happened and I was left pleasantly surprised by the band’s newest release, “The Battle at Garden’s Gate.”
Formed back in 2012 in Frankenmuth, Michigan, Greta Van Fleet consists of lead singer Josh Kiszka, guitarist Jake Kiszka, bassist Sam Kiszka and drummer Danny Wagner.
The band was inspired by the sounds of blues and hard rock and has often been labeled as a Led Zeppelin copycat. Many have even noted that the singing voice of Josh Kiszka sounds eerily similar to that of Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant.
“I hate (Josh Kiszka),” Plant joked in an interview with The Project Exclusive. “And he borrowed [his voice] from somebody I know very well.”
Because of their similarities, many have praised Greta Van Fleet’s sound and have even claimed that they will bring back rock ’n’ roll. However, opinions quickly changed once the band released its first album.
I was extremely dissatisfied by the band’s first album, “Anthem of the Peaceful Army.” Most of the songs felt repetitive and the lyrics seemed unoriginal.
The song “You’re the One” is a great example of what happens when an artist gets lazy with their writing: “You’re the one I want / You’re the one I need / You’re the one I had / So come on back to me.”
These lines may seem simple at first but when it is basically repeated five other times throughout the song, it becomes aggravating.
While the same could be said about the band’s newest release, there is definitely a lot more love and passion in this project than the last.
The lyrics feel more imaginative and the songs themselves feel as though a lot of thought was put into them rather than just rehashing old songs.
“Sorrows of the Earth / May our tears of rain wash down to bathe you / This is what life is worth / When the fires still burn and rage all around” are some visionary lines from the song “Heat Above.”
Josh Kiszka has stepped away from the Robert Plant comparison and has really come into his own vocal style. It seems as though the boys have found their form and are stepping up to the plate with that enchanting and imaginative sound.
Of course, there are quite a few flaws with this record, such as the occasional generic line and questionable instrumentals. But the bad definitely does not outweigh the good.
While many fans would describe the band as a mini-Led Zeppelin, Greta Van Fleet is so much more than that. The boys hold a lot of love for their band and deserve to be a separate entity than those who came before them.
I am looking forward to what the future has in store for Greta Van Fleet. It seems as though the band is finally figuring out who they are. I am highly expecting a great record next time around.
“The Battle at Garden’s Gate” is a breath of fresh air from Greta Van Fleet and is definitely a record that needs to be on repeat for the next few months.