GRETA VAN FLEET – ” The Battle at Garden’s Gate “

Posted: December 31, 2022 in MUSIC

These Michigan retro-rock revivalists saw your “Led Zeppelin cosplay” jokes and raised you some strings. Everything about Greta Van Fleet’s second full-length is more expansive: the instrumentation, the song lengths, the budget, the fantasy-realm absurdity, the physical range of Josh Kiszka’s Valhalla-seeking shriek. Working with top-drawer producer Greg Kurstin (Paul McCartney, Foo Fighters, Adele), Greta Van Fleet leaned into their proggiest, heaviest instincts — jettisoning the dopey folk-rock detours (““You’re the One””) that bogged down stretches of their 2018 debut, “Anthem of the Peaceful Army”. They sound more natural in this cinematic space, allowing guitarist Jake Kiszka to orchestrate riffs on a bigger scale (like on epics “Age of Machine” and “The Weight of Dreams”). Sure, nothing about “The Battle of Garden’s Gate” is particularly original — but who cares? Few bands recycle the past with such flair and finesse.

In “Heat Above“, from the 2021 album “Battle at Garden’s Gate”, the band infamous for sounding too much like Led Zeppelin air some of their other classic rock influences, most notably those in the prog space. The save-the-worldism that was too sticky and blunt throughout their debut album, “Anthem of the Peaceful Army” (2018), is here polished into something glam, exultant, and deliciously over the top. 

Their instrumentation will put you in mind of Rush, their presentation of Elton John, and their lyrics of The Guess Who on this years-in-the-making single that represents Greta Van Fleet at their best.

The Led Zep-lovin’ boys from Michigan blew away the Covid cobwebs, Is there anything more comforting to men of a certain vintage than the crunching guitars and wailing vocals of classic rock?

Not for me. This year, the genre transported me back to a musical era of sheer joy and wild, creative spirit; a time when musicians were as interested in letting the good times roll as saving the world. A time of bands like classic rock revivalists, Greta Van Fleet

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