Article by Andrés Alvarado
“Rock-n-Roll is dead!”
No, dudes and dudettes, rock’n’roll is quite alive, quite thriving, and in full swing with the anticipated Greta Van Fleet debut LP, Anthem of the Peaceful Army. Consisting of the Kiszka brothers, plus drummer Danny Wagner, Greta Van Fleet has been on the upswing since breaking onto the scene over the last couple of years. Successfully operating despite the never ending comparisons to legendary rock juggernauts like Led Zeppelin and Rush, the stakes are sky high and the hopes even bigger for the Van Fleet boys to deliver the goods.
Spearheading Anthem of the Peaceful Army is smash single “When the Curtain Falls.” A throwback that suits Josh Kiszka‘s vocals like a glove, “When the Curtain Falls” swarms those sound-waves like a powerful tornado of classic old school rock that leaves most purists intrigued — if not satisfied, and provides Greta Van Fleet fans further ammo to hail these Michigan youngsters as the next big thing.
The highlights are plentiful on Anthem of the Peaceful Army. Record closer “Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer)” provides wide accessibility to a lesson in hi-hats and barrels proficiency — as Wagner commands the attention with robustly sublime drum work. Other notables are the country(ish) twangs linked to “You’re the One,” the invigorating bass frenzy delivered on “Mountain of the Sun,” “Anthem” and its stripped back unplugged singalong complexion. Additionally, latest banger “Age of Man” yields a gorgeously grandiose dose of stadium rock that propels Josh’s already heavenly howls to goosebumps inducing levels.
Anthem of the Peaceful Army, in itself, is a pretty lean and athletic record. Clocking in at just under 50 minutes, throughout 11 thumpers, this freshman effort is pretty darn impressive. Nonetheless, the dark cloud hovering over Van Fleet’s head is still there. The unwinnable and unavoidable comparisons to Robert Plant and his gang will remain and, quite possibly, increase with each passing single. Simply put, Greta Van Fleet has yet to find distance from that Zeppelin-esque juxtaposition they find themselves in. The boys of Greta Van Fleet are incredibly talented, gifted, and young — we wholeheartedly suspect that in time they will carve out their own incomparable identity. However, as of today, they remain seen as an otherworldly replica to the original. Just or unjustly.
All said and done, Anthem of the Peaceful Army is a welcomed pedal-to-metal adrenaline-generating slice of the classic rock’n’roll pie. The Greta Van Fleet virtuosos are not the saviors of rock, they don’t need to be. Nonetheless, they are an interesting outfit that has bridged that love of ’70s quintessential flower-child and bad-boy tunage to the modern age forefront — and that is quite an accomplishment. Anthem of the Peaceful Army is a steadily cool step in the right direction. Cheers!
Score: 6.5/10 — Key Tracks: “When the Curtain Falls,” “Age of Man,” “Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer),” and “Mountain of the Sun.“