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Falling in Love with Rock & Roll All Over Again with Greta Van Fleet

By Carly Mehl; For the Clock
On November 4, 2017

America has been searching to find the love again. In this politically-divided country filled with violence and hatred, we can stop for a minute and come together to fall back in love with rock and roll. It’s all happening, and the guys who are bringing it back are Greta Van Fleet. They are no bubblegum boy-band. These young brothers have the soul and the kick-ass 1970s-esque sound inspired by their father’s influence of blues and countless rock legends they grew up listening to on vinyl.

Their sound is undoubtedly comparable to that of Led Zeppelin, which is accepted by the band with much gratitude. But, as songwriters and musicians, they wish to build their own modern mystique, straying far away from a cover band. The lead vocals of Josh Kiszka sound much like the sweet love-making high notes of Jimmy Page or Robert Plant. In their most recently released four song EP, “Black Smoke Rising,” the only complaint when listening is that there is not enough.

Song number three, “Flower Power” is hard to believe to be written by 18-21-year-old kids. Their poetic lyrics are lightyears ahead of other artists of their generation. I have to say it, it is refreshing to listen to something written about a woman that is not focused on fornicating and acquiring wealth. Not saying drop the sex and drugs out of rock and roll; right on, man! Just noting how impressive it is when an artist can express how they feel by dancing around the expletives with clever wordplay.

The feels are to be felt within the last song, “Black Smoke Rising.” Powerful lines like,“It's the new age crisis and we will stand up in the cold,” and, “Many people are dividing and a world apart with just one heart is bound to keel and fade away,” are sending messages about things that matter. Music allows people to connect deeply with words they could not think of themselves.

With everything going on in this wild world we were handed, I think many songwriter enthusiasts, including myself, resort back to artists such as Buffalo Springfield and Marvin Gaye. Greta Van Fleet has brought back the hope for the music industry that many people were beginning to lose faith in.

These guys are so young and already so unbelievably talented. Their potential alone is incendiary. The band is currently on a sold-out tour across the US and soon travelling to Germany. A part of me wants to drop out, buy a van and become a groupie and convince everyone else to do the same. But, seriously, it is overwhelming how quickly they are becoming so popular. Already receiving praise from “Rolling Stone Magazine,” Paste, Screamer, and Billboard.

I think anyone who watches their favorite small band rise to absolute fame experiences a difficulty with a sense of ownership while also wanting them to succeed. Let us hope that Greta Van Fleet stays true to their own merit while bringing rock back into the mainstream, residing in originality and resisting from becoming part of another industry of “cool.”

Their music as of now is only available for digital download on Apple Music, Spotify, or for free listening on Youtube. They plan on releasing vinyl and CDs with their first official album. 

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