Tonality: Greta Van Fleet’s “From the Fires”
With a sound that listeners will likely misplace as a lost rock hit of the 70s, Greta Van Fleet is an anomaly in the atmosphere of modern music with their new double EP “From the Fires.”
The first song on the EP, “Safari Song,” opens with a distorted guitar riff and a rock ‘n’ roll howl. This yell is a staple for singer Jacob Kiszka, whose voice holds an uncanny resemblance to Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant.
Half-way through the album, “Highway Tune” beats the listener’s eardrums with Kiszka’s howls and screams. The banging drums and sloppy guitars are an ode to the energy of rock ‘n’ roll. When the song ends, one might think, “Is rock ‘n’ roll back? I gotta call my dad.”
The title track, “Black Smoke Rising,” balances topical political themes with rock songwriting. The high pitched screams and an electrifying chorus are unforgettable.
Greta Van Fleet’s sound is youthful and recognizable. It’s a refreshing sound amid computer-generated bass drops and lyrics about unanswered texts. Rock purists will be satisfied with production of the music: Vintage Gibsons into Marshall amplifiers, bass cabinets larger than a full-grown man and the same drum kit used by John Bonham.
Quality or just a novelty? Original or a knock-off? Reviews of the band vary, with some critics claiming their sound is a ripoff of past legends, while other rave that their material clearly sets them apart from their peers.
Regardless of what others think, they are worth a listen. The 21-year-old musicians are currently on a sold-out tour, wowing audiences nationwide with their unique sound. They will be stopping in Atlanta to play the Shaky Knees Music Festival on May 5. If you’re a fan of traditional rock music, you won’t want to miss this.