Greta Van Fleet’s New Album Anthem of the Peaceful Army Attempts to Establish Them as Individuals with an Album They Wrote
We recently posted an article of an interview with Greta Van Fleet [that got shoved in the Vault for a while last year] in long awaited anticipation of the new GVF album, Anthem of the Peaceful Army. (What happened to that summer release? Doesn’t matter- it’s here now!) In light of the album’s debut on October 19th, 2018, here is our honest and sometimes weird review of the album where we DON’T attempt to answer the question of whether or not these lads have done enough to differentiate themselves from one of the biggest bands in the world on their premier album after stirring up more buzz than you could shake a stick at, but we do make mild references to that.
Led Zeppelin. There you have it. They are not them, okay? The similarities are there, but it doesn’t need to be in every passing thought about them.
Also, don’t shake sticks at things that buzz. Sage advice.
On to the Review!
Age of Man
Flowery flutes and straining vocals make this track an interesting introduction. Then, the guitars. I know there are many (Led Zeppelin) comparisons, but this has a bit of a Heart vibe when those strings kick in. This is a good jam. It’s solid. You’ll nod your head along, entrapped in the beat, and feel somehow inspired. Also, the vocals, backing as well as Josh’s amazing ones, need to be noted. If you’re unsure at this point, the vocals should be enough to keep you in for the ride.
The Cold Wind
A tonal twin of Black Smoke Rising, this is the song that makes you feel like driving. Can we get this on cassette? Play it in something with either a vinyl roof or wood paneling while cruising into a dusky evening full of colors in the fading light? I’m not asking for much. If I was, a Firebird or ‘Stang would be involved.
This is the epitome of what a song with a classic rock feeling should be. It doesn’t make you scratch your head thinking of something else, but it fits right in as though it belonged there all along.
When the Curtain Falls
Sprinkles of “babes” and “darlings” among lyrics that would usually invoke a bit of that condescending Cat Steven’s Wild World vibe come too soon here, considering a band of recent high school graduates sing “in and out of fashion” completely unironically about this unnamed darling while being considered the next throwback band.
I can appreciate that, I just feel it needs to be noted.
Slowing things down. I’m really enjoying the psychedelic dichotomy between the circular riffs and the steady vocals. I feel it. Yes, the water is rising, but it doesn’t drift too far out to sea. Another solid song with some depth to it. There are multiple tonal changes crammed into these four and a half minutes, but it’s a smooth ride. Fairly well done.
This is the one I was waiting to hear the recorded version of. I rarely find studio songs that hold up to live for the bands that really bring it live, because great energy can fix mediocre talent and send awesome talent into the stratosphere, but this brings the energy with it and the talent. The head nod now moves and infects the torso. I’ll be dancing soon at this rate.
Not to get repetitive, but this is solid. You need to get the intonation right, because intonation can make a vocabulary out of one word.
I was almost disappointed this title wasn’t all four words, but I was ahead of myself. Instead, we get ten minutes of this great (Greta? Great? Greata? This band is ruining my ability to type… like, more than it is.) tune. Thank you!
You’re the One
This song is so sweet. In the way that has a purity and simplicity to it that is refreshing and nice. This would sound immature from most other bands, but the intricacy of the instrumentals backs it well and the result is more one of those purposefully, cut back sounds that many artists only get too after playing with too much for too long and trying to re-find themselves. The overall sound really has it.
I’m saying it’s good.
Plus, I didn’t think of Zeppelin once during the whole song and that seems to count for something, according to the other reviews I’ve read so far. Some Jeff Lynne, but his name only kind of s
Alright, I’m dancing now. I know, we shouldn’t have let this happen, but here we are. Why aren’t you listening yet? Then you’d get it. No, then you‘ll get it. The guitar is happy on this song. The backing vocals are a bit overdone, but if this song isn’t the sun smiling on a bunch of flowers, I don’t know what is. The end is a bit abrupt, but just let it lead in to the next
I’m starting to wonder how severe the editing will be, but this music invokes feelings that are best described in motion and other senses. My mild synesthesia might also be coming out, but I’d like to think good music just evokes this in everyone.
Mountain of the Sun
Open in a quintessential diner in a midwestern town, the kind that turns into a friendly dive bar at night, you know the kind. You’ve seen them on TV. This is the song those fellas in the back are playing while everyone chats and dances off the remains of their long day. I don’t get the title, but this song could have been closer to the beginning. It’s inviting and comfortable.
That breakdown, nice.
Sugar, is that a harmonica? I’m telling you, that dive on the edge of town where everyone seems to know each other, but don’t make you feel unwelcome? This song is that place. It doesn’t need to exist, it just is.
I think this just pushed me over the edge to buying the vinyl of the album.
Brave New World
Lyrically, yes, this does sound like it could be about the book. It’s another good song, but the pattern is too similar to others on the record for it to really stand out. The chorus sucks you in. They don’t over rely on choruses, which is nice in itself, but that does help to establish this song.
I heard this on the radio last week and was very excited to get to hear it again. There is some Dylan-vibe on this track and a touch of Magical Mystery, but the percussion gets a standout and it feels like flower petals dropping. Fields and forests; this song is a happy midday pause.
Solid choice in a title song.
It also sounds like another thing the ‘60s and ‘70s were renowned for.
I mean Woodstock, of course.
Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer)
Yeeeeesssssssssssss. This is heavy. This is heavy, man.
This album is definitely worth a listen and a buy. I think these guys are going to be fine, but some support is always nice, right? Oh, look, the link to the Greta Van Fleet shop is right, well, there.
This album shows the variety of what guitars can do and I’ll always love that in music. Guitars aren’t really an underappreciated or underestimated instrument, but they can be underutilized. This album did not. I am so appreciative of that.
Also, a recent article on Billboard (Yeah, go you guys! Billboard!) revealed that Sam managed to ignore a passing tornado. Add that to the sock thing that was previously mentioned here on DF and you have one of those untryingly interesting individuals. While all of these multi-talented youths are ones to watch, that is some next level, bad sitcom unawareness. Amazing.
Buy the album. This post was not sponsored in any way or even asked for. It just is.
Post-post Script: On my first listen through, I heard an instrument that I couldn’t identify on one of the songs. I don’t know if it disappeared (unlikely), but I haven’t been able to find it since. I can’t wait for more videos of live performances to come forth, because I’d like to see how they pull these off. Maybe even get to see them headlining. Anyone out in the interworlds going?