By Trevor Morelli
Will Greta Van Fleet ever escape the annoying-yet-inevitable comparisons to rock ‘n’ roll legends, pioneers, and demi-gods Led Zeppelin? Not with this release, unfortunately. On the bright side, their debut LP Anthem of the Peaceful Army is another soulful, groovy, blues rock offering that’s sure to blow the fuses out of any roadhouse jukebox it can find its way into.
Perhaps part of GVF’s charm is the way they unapologetically knock off Jimmy Page’s vintage riffs and Robert Plant’s falsetto vocals on songs like “When the Curtain Falls,” “Brave New World” and album highlight, “Lover, Leaver.” Their sound may not be original, but their sense of rock ethos is strong, their musicianship is tight and their tunes are undeniably catchy.
Elsewhere, the Michigan quartet tackles the folksy tribes of the ‘70s with mixed results. “Watching Over” presents an enchanting melody driven by minor chord picking, but “Anthem” comes off as a cornball let’s-come-together hymn that doesn’t quite fit the mood of the rest of the album.
As far as imposters go, Greta Van Fleet continue to emulate their influences to a T but it’s too early to tell if that’s something they can truly build a career on.
For now, Anthem shows their musical chops are in check, so maybe we can afford to cut ‘em some slack. The great irony here is that, as immortal as Led Zeppelin is in some die-hards’ eyes, GVF is ripping off a band that largely became famous by ripping off other bands. “Borrowing” riffs and transposing chord progressions to make them your own? Sounds familiar doesn’t it, Mr. Page?Anthem Of The Peaceful Army, Greta Van Fleet, Record Review, Republic Records