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Greta Van Fleet: The Battle at Garden’s Gate review – more shades of Led Zeppelin?

Phil Mongredien
·1-min read

Intermittently enjoyable as it was, Greta Van Fleet’s 2018 debut, Anthem of the Peaceful Army, was rather eclipsed by all the Led Zeppelin comparisons. The follow-up from the Michigan four-piece – three Kiszka brothers and Ken-from-Bros drummer Danny Wagner – isn’t going to completely put those parallels to bed. Built By Nations, in particular, seems to have been built on a riff that Jimmy Page lost down the back of his sofa around the time of Led Zeppelin II. Josh Kiszka’s vocals, meanwhile, are now as much in thrall to fellow West Midlander Noddy Holder as Robert Plant, most notably on My Way, Soon.

Related: Greta Van Fleet on critics: ‘They’re pissed off that we’re doing something’

As befits a band so wedded to mid-70s classic rock, they are at their best on their more epic material, particularly Broken Bells and eight-minute closer The Weight of Dreams, which moves up through the gears from an acoustic intro to a brilliantly overblown Jake Kiszka guitar solo. Elsewhere, however, the material is more pedestrian, and the quieter moments don’t always sit well with Josh’s vocals (default, indeed, only setting: a histrionic screech). Too often, he sounds as if he thinks he’s striding into Valhalla while the rest of the band are carefully navigating the outskirts of Walsall. Learning a bit of restraint might be a good move ahead of album number three.