Review Summary: I like music.
I remember when it was cool to hate on Greta van Fleet. As Mary Hopkin so succinctly put it 50 years ago, "Those were the days, my friend". But such days of innocence and happiness have passed us by. According to the internet counterculture that takes it upon themselves to define what is truly
"hip" and what isn't, it is in fact not "hip" to hate Greta van Fleet because, well, everyone does it. There's an irritated fatigue surrounding the mere idea of it. Nowadays, a negative comment on a GVF release warrants a flood of ired responses, usually to the tune of phrases such as, "get off your high horse", "enough with the Zeppelin comparisons", "they're just kids, they have time to grow", "Zeppelin's music wasn't acclaimed upon release, either".
Cute takes, all of them. Still doesn't change the fact that no matter how "un-hip" I might be in saying it: these guys are a dog*** band.
Anthem of the Peaceful Army
expands upon the sounds of From the Fires
exactly like how an impotent person achieves erection; something interesting could very well be happening inside their heads, but hell if we can tell what that something is because they can't translate it to reality in any sort of tangible way. There's nothing new here: Josh Kiszka is still caterwauling his little tail off with the diction and breath support of an amateur (hasn't anyone told this kid to spit out his godforsaken gum before he starts tracking vocals？), and meanwhile the rest of the band settles for rudimentary riffing and beats underneath his wails that sound about as original as toast. Is that a solid analogy？ Who knows and who cares, it's ***ing Greta van Fleet. Anyways, the lyrics are possibly the most laughably bad thing about this entire album. I don't expect a glorified tribute band to possess Leonard Cohen levels of poetic ability, but even the king of "making 'em sweat, making 'em groove" Robert Plant could pull a "Stairway to Heaven" out of his hat from time to time. GVF don't glitter, they don't glow, and I doubt they have any idea what the hell Valhalla and Mordor are, either.
"But Mr. TheLongShot", one might ask, "if these guys are so terrible, why are they so popular？ Surely there must be something to their sound that is appealing？" Of course there is, but I daren't call it a magnetism that surrounds them so much as an allure for folks who enjoy the simple pleasures in life. You know, pleasures such as picking your nose, eating what you dug out, and then scratching your ass as a way of destroying the evidence. The reader may laugh, but just today alone I saw five people wearing Greta van Fleet T-shirts go through exactly these motions. One gentleman even saw fit to let out a rousing belch after the fact. Get the picture？
Now, it must be said that I don't despise the musical opinions of these individuals by any means, for they are entitled to enjoy whatever they wish and to dislike whatever they wish. It is the hypocrisies of said folks that are detestable. Greta van Fleet's fanbase is largely comprised of a bunch of "good ol' boys" who ceaselessly covet the "good ol' days" when music was "good" and not pillaged with flaccid, corporate dreck. Observe this last sentence for a moment. Let it sink in. If you are fortunate enough to possess an IQ of at least minor respectability, it will certainly be apparent that these blessedly naive people are bashing the supposed manufactured nature of modern music, while at the same time gorging themselves with the most pandering corporate creation to enter the rock music landscape since the Monkees made that one rock song that one time. You see the conundrum here, surely.
In short: this is a terrible band, but you knew that already. Chances are, you probably don't appreciate my telling you as much, either, and you will no doubt lump this review in with the other "sheeple" who have been criticizing this band over recent weeks and months. Fortunately for you, I don't give two ***s. If being in the musical cool kids' club involves me growing a tolerance for Greta van Fleet and ignoring the laundry list of negative traits that they have, I rescind my membership.