In December of 2017, I wrote this about Greta Van Fleet:
"Yeah, I know there are a lot of Led Zep haters out there, but I am not
one of them. The similarities here, for my purposes, are welcome. And
really, no one should get on four 12 year olds playing hard rock as good
Last week for Pitchfork, Jeremy D. Larson wrote this about Greta Van Fleet:
"Greta Van Fleet sound like they did weed exactly once, called the cops, and tried to record a Led Zeppelin album before they arrested themselves. The poor kids from Frankenmuth,
Michigan don’t even realize they’re more of an algorithmic fever dream
than an actual rock band.
It’s possible to be an exceptional classic rock vampire act but it requires something more than the major label money and vaguely Native American accoutrements. It’s why Greta Van Fleet can’t compete with, say, the Darkness
circa 2003’s “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.” The Darkness—who aped
big rock warhorses like Queen and Aerosmith and Van Halen—were so
outrageous that they had to be credulous. They had a song that
went, “Get your hands off of my woman, mother fucker” and did a power
metal cover of Radiohead’s “Street Spirit (Fade Out).” Who would do such garish things? They dared you, tongue in cheek, to take this impossibly foolish thing very seriously.
Greta Van Fleet do no such thing. They care so deeply and are so
precious with their half-baked boomer fetishism, they mollycoddled every
impulse of late-’60s rock‘n’roll into an interminable 49-minute drag."
I've heard "Anthem Of The Peaceful Army," the new full-length from GVF, and I don't think it's very good. I guess hearing a great blast of hard rock 9 months ago was an exciting change of pace, no matter how derivative it may have been. But an album's worth of Zep riffage and Plant-isms, is too much of a good thing. Or maybe, it just gave me an extra 40 minutes to realize there was nothing here to really sink my ears into. Some of it sounds...well...as silly as a 22 year Robert Plant wailing about vikings almost 50 years ago.
I find Larson's review far more offensive than any music on the new GVF record. Also cringeworthy is Larson's profile:
"I was raised in Wisconsin and now live in Brooklyn. I am an editor. I
also write about music, pop culture, and odd scenes I happen to
remember. As it stands, I am banned for life from Thievery Corporation's
club in Washington D.C."
Jeezaloo! Those 42 words are more laughable and derivative and than anything GVF has recorded. I wonder if he brushes his teeth with artisanal, cruelty-free kale paste. Talk about algorithmic fever dreams!
The members of Greta Van Fleet can really play. In time, maybe they will create a great record. "Anthem Of The Peaceful Army" is not that record. They are kids. Give them until album number two before you write them off. I mean, Adele became a superstar by basically having music put to her diary pages.