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Greta Van Fleet – From The Fires review

Genre: ROCK/HARD ROCK

Released by: VIRGIN EMI

Release date: 10th November 2017

Line up:

Josh Kiszka – Vocals,

Jake Kiszka – Guitar,

Sam Kiszka – Bass/Keyboards,

Danny Wagner – Drums,

Tracklist:

  1. Safari Song
  2. Edge of Darkness
  3. Flower Power
  4. A Change is Gonna Come
  5. Highway Tune
  6. Meet on the Ledge
  7. Talk on the Street
  8. Black Smoke Rising

Okay… so I’m a bit late with this one and everyone else has beat me to it; bleating on about the phenomenal Michigan four piece causing waves on the American rock scene. Greta Van Fleet even graced the pages of Rolling Stone’s 10 New Artists You Need To Know” back in October 2017, however until their EP ‘From the Fires’ landed in my inbox they had (rather unusually) escaped my notice.  If you are based in the UK, they may soon be coming to a town near you – waste no time in getting a ticket though, they have already sold out at several locations across the country including London, Birmingham and Manchester, clear testimony to a band who are fast on the rise… 

As far as Greta Van Fleet are concerned I was never going to get away without mentioning the Zeppelin comparison and while I have noted and mentioned many times in the past new bands bearing semblance to Zepp here and there, the music of Greta Van Fleet is absolutely permeated by it.  The two crystal clear examples of it on this recording are Safari Song and Highway Tune although to my ear the beginning of Flower Power bears similarities to Zeppelins’ ‘Going to California’ and the ending to ‘Your Time is Gonna Come’.

As if I wasn’t already blown away with the opening track on this offering it also uncannily features an amazing cover version of Fairport Conventions’ “Meet on the Ledge”.

From the Fires is the follow up of EP Black Smoke Rising released in April of last year to massive praise and all comparisons aside it must be borne in mind that (bar two exceptional cover versions), this is original material of the highest calibre showcasing extraordinary musical proficiency and a wide ranging vocal style.  The recording at just over 30 mins is a bit too long to be an EP and a bit too short to be an album but it is instantly both familiar and addictive and I was hooked after one listen with Talk on the Street and Black Smoke Rising getting plenty of repeat play.

In the past few weeks I have heard Greta Van Fleet being touted as Led Zeppelin reincarnated – whether or not the band ever aspired to this similitude I am unsure and perhaps I may get a chance to ask them sometime….  The similarities are impossible to ignore but if they are guilty of paving their way to success by mimicking their heroes it is no less than Zeppelin done themselves, after all hasn’t everything been done before? Will Greta Van Fleet continue down this path of familiarity or veer off in a more unique and alternative direction?  More material is needed to determine this and I, for one eagerly await it.

Score 10/10

Reviewer: Karen Hetherington

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