Genes: Parents, become fans of Greta Van Fleet before your kids (column)
April 2, 2018
Musician Steve Moore knows a lot about rock. And I'm not just talking about the ones that hit and crack your windshield, though as proprietor of Novus Auto Glass for more than two decades, he certainly knows plenty about those pebbles.
But today, I reference the musical genre and Moore's endless knowledge of music. His massive personal CD collection ranks with the best and if you're lucky enough to fall on his distribution list for his private playlist CDs that are curated with great care, then you know he has an adept ear for good music.
That's why I had to take some time to listen to Greta Van Fleet when Moore declared: "It's young people finally playing rock music." So with such lofty praise, I had to give the young rockers from Frankenmuth, Michigan, a listen.
Rocking with a Passion
Moore refers to the GVF's new record as "the lost Led Zeppelin album that was produced somewhere between 'Led Zep II' and 'Houses Of The Holy.'"
Their debut record, "From The Fires," was released toward the tail end of 2017, and Moore is not the first nor last to make such a comparison.
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These guys, from a town better known for its gigantic Christmas store, rock with a forgotten passion. Listen to "Safari Song" and it becomes evident. Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, meet your children by soul, if not blood. At the root of the band is a power trio of the blood of one family. Twins Josh and Jake Kiska are joined by their brother Sam along with drummer Daniel Wagner.
Praise from Robert Plant
Making headlines with outrageously powerful and sold out shows (current tour showing no stops in Colorado), Greta Van Fleet is a millennial rock dream. Young rock fans who grew up listening to dad's record collection finally have a band to call their own, even if their sounds are hauntingly familiar.
And they don't care to shy away from it with song titles like "Flower Power" and "Black Smoke Rising" along with a jamming remake of Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come," these Michigan rockers leave no doubt as to their influence and ambition. Prompting the real lead singer of the heavy metal wonders, Plant himself to declare, "They are Led Zep 1."
The band is a rock band in the purest sense of the word. Blazing guitars are driven by bass and the ridiculously rocking voice of Josh Kiska will have years of comparisons to break through to prove his own identity. As he sings in "Edge Of Darkness," he is "always searching for light."
My advice to the band is to keep it heavy as you journey toward that light. My advice to you, the reader? Check this band out before your kids do — and again turn them onto something new, the way Steve Moore turned me onto Greta Van Fleet.
Tom Genes is a musicologist and organizes the annual Cover Rock Festival in Avon, returning June 22-23 with tributes to America's best rock 'n' roll bands.
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