Review: Greta Van Fleet – Anthem Of The Peaceful Army

The modern world of instant gratification and immediate association does not bode well for Danny Wagner and the brothers Kiszka.

But I have a feeling they don’t care. They’re taking things at their own pace.

If you’re unfamiliar with Frankenmuth, Michigan’s Greta Van Fleet, then allow their debut album Anthem Of The Peaceful Army to show you the way.

Warning: This is the obligatory mention of Zeppelin association. The somehow divisive sound collected by The Muth’s own Josh Kiszka (Vocals), Jake Kiszka (Guitar), Sam Kiszka (Bass), and Danny Wagner (Drums), expertly laid down modern rock defining EPs has left a “love em or hate em” trail of shuttering guitar licks, concussing rhythms, and bold vocals unlike anything we’ve got in front of us now.

Anthem Of The Peaceful Army, ten tracks of defining style, is a debut album in the most honest sense of the term. Opening in prolific, albeit subtle (relatively speaking) grandeur, “Age of Man” leads in with purpose and makes it known these guys have something to say. The record moves amongst hints of southern blues rock reminiscent of the Robinson brothers (“The Cold Wind” and “The New Day”) and delivers on the highly anticipated shredding/screamy sound Greta Van Fleet has become known on the radio waves for (“When The Curtain Falls” and “Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer)”). While they dish up the mainstream pandering, Anthem is not without some serious moments worthy of a listen. “Watching Over” builds within itself and feels like the first turn to anchor a sound that can definitively be called Greta Van Fleet.  “You’re The One” is a complete and utter about-face on GVF sound. A sound in which they should not shy away from. “Mountain of The Sun” is pure and simple, the definitive Greta Van Fleet. Then comes “Brave New World”, a track that, dare I say, emanates grunge-like undertones in a surprisingly splendid style. The aptly titled “Anthem” settles things down and brings the debut home with a harmonizing finish.

For every two steps forward Greta Van Fleet takes, there is an obvious step back when fighting the argument of solidifying a sound without comparison. One thing’s for sure, Anthem Of The Peaceful Army trades Houses of the Holy for Muscle Shoals while maintaining a modern overarching hard blues rock presence. It is undeniable Josh Kiszka’s voice is just something the nay-sayers are going to have to get over. From deep down, up through the final execution, with the small exception that I’ve come to accept more as tongue-in-cheek, Greta Van Fleet has separated themselves from the overwhelming association which shall not be named and stepped into the light with their flag held high.

Greg is a co-founder and regular contributor of Nanobot Rock.

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