Greta Van Fleet – Black Smoke Rising EP

Be honest…when was the last time you listened to a piece of music that sent chills down your spine? I would have to say, on how the popular music is today, a very long time. There have been very few times in my life that 60 seconds into the first song I listened to from a band, I instantly knew they were a new favorite. Something like that just does not happen anymore because of the way that music is released and the mindset we are in when listening to music. I am guilty of it myself, just browsing through the Friday releases on iTunes. One day, on Spotify, I am looking at bands that are suggested to me because I am searching for a specific artist. I come across this unusually named band called Greta Van Fleet. They seemed to only have 3-4 songs out so far so it was very new, so I start to listen….Well, that was it for me!

This little, 4 song EP is a rock ‘n’ roll explosion. To me it felt like all the bad, processed music out there today kept building…and building…and building until one day, it exploded and released this breath of fresh air called the Black Smoke Rising EP from Greta Van Fleet. Let’s just start with the obvious: the lead singer. If Robert Plant was dead, Joshua Kiszka would be the reincarnation of him. You really have to hear it to believe it. The notes he can hit, and the range is unheard of, at least in the current rock ‘n’ roll industry of the last few years. If the singing wasn’t enough, the band, made up of his two brothers, Samuel and Jacob Kiszka and friend Daniel Wagner, is just incredible. It would basically be if Led Zeppelin was a garage band. Heavy drums with a groovy, heavy bass line and Page-esque, bluesy/rockin guitar.

In terms of the EP, they did a great job on the songs they chose. They start off with the big number, “Highway Tune.” It is just straight up rock ‘n’ roll with a touch of “southern fried” guitar in there as well. After the straight forward entry to the EP, they go into a much more groovy sound with “Safari Song.” Next, they channel a little low-key Zeppelin with “Flower Power.” This song is a reminder of great tunes such as “Ramble On” and “That’s The Way.” They end it with probably my favorite song on the album, “Black Smoke Rising” which is hard to compare with another song but sounds a little close to the band Wolfmother.

I could go on and on about the influence Zeppelin, Sabbath and the other greats must have had on them but what seems to make Greta Van Fleet so great is that even though they sound like the greats, their music is very original and fresh. Sure they take a lot from their influences in terms of the sound but they are making their own music and that is what makes this band special. They don’t seem to be trying to impersonate anyone from the past.  They are doing their own thing and I think that is what will make them well-known in years to come.

The band says that they will be releasing 3-4 more EPs which will complete a whole album. All I can say is that I cannot wait until I can get more music from these guys and hopefully a full album will be in the works sometime in the future because they are just too good to not listen to on wax. So please, if you are like me and you are tired of searching far and wide for the next great band, look no further than Greta Van Fleet.

Greta Van Fleet

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