Greta Van Fleet formed in Michigan, near Detroit, three brothers, twins Josh and Jake Kiszka on vocals and guitar respectively, younger brother Sam on bass, friend Danny Wagner on drums. Although the label (Lava) seems reticent to say it in their press release they sound like Led Zeppelin, in fact they sound more like Led Zeppelin than any band I’ve heard since well, Led Zeppelin. That’s vocals, lyrics, songs, guitars, electric or acoustic, lead or rhythm, arrangements, bass and drums. To say, as they do in the press release that they are influenced by Howlin Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who, Black Sabbath and not mention Led Zeppelin is like claiming Pepsi never heard of Coke.
But, what is surprising about this is that they are absolutely fantastic. All in their early twenties, you wonder how it’s possible that they can sound like this. I keep on seeing headlines that call them the future of rock and roll, no, they are the past of rock and roll but executed so well that you simply have to forgive them.
The last band that sounded this similar to Led Zep was German band Kingdom Come. As I remember they got a really hard time for it but these days and with the innocence of youth, I rather think that this band will be encouraged. All of us that were around in the seventies will cry out in disbelief, all those that weren’t will love them. Interestingly where Greta Van Fleet are from is known as Little Bavaria.
I’m worried about how they are marketed, their video for Highway Song throws them into the wrong light (imho). Yes they are gorgeous but let’s not sell them too cheaply, please. Nurtured and in the right hands they have a huge future. Give them counseling now before the business damages their souls. I don’t like the EP cover art, tacky. As yet there is no vinyl but I will be purchasing it as soon as it becomes available.
Their songs are memorable, the 4 track Black Smoke Rising EP – Highway Tune, Safari Song, Flower Power and Black Smoke Rising is a classic already despite its similarity to Plant, Page, Jones and Bonham. How Josh Kiszka can sound so like a young Robert Plant is hard to explain, someone has definitely invented a time machine and brought young Robert back from 1969.
Brilliant, love it, hope they get huge because they have better songs than latterday U2 and Coldplay output and they are designed for arenas. Named after a lady from home town, Frankenmuth, Michigan, Led Zeppelin don’t need to reform now we have Greta Van Fleet.
Go see them, let me know how they are live.
May 12 – Libertyville, IL – Austin’s Fuel Room
May 15 – Indianapolis, IN – Deluxe at Old National Centre
May 16 – Flint, MI – The Machine Shop
May 18 – Niagara Falls, NY – The Rapids Theatre
May 19 – Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live (Grab tickets here)
May 21 – Dewey Beach, DE – Bottle & Cork
Go here to listen to the Black Smoke Rising EP on Spotify: