One of our favorite (So Far) albums of the year is Black Smoke Rising the debut E.P. from the Frankenmuth, Michigan band Greta Van Fleet, although their output is sparse, other than this E.P. available right now in download format only, there is only a live CD released in 2014. Named after one of Frankemuth’s more esteemed citizens, there actually is a Gretna Van Fleet. The band came up with the name when they were asked what they were called just before a gig. Before they could come up with a suitable name, one of their family members said they had to leave because he had to go mow Gretna Van Fleet’s lawn, and the name stuck.
While the band’s stated influences veer more the the Joe Cocker, Wilson Pickett, and San and Dave, the vibe here is pure 70’s Blues Rock with a distinct Led Zeppelin meets Jack Jack Black sound that is best heard at escalated volumes. Sure, they are flying a bit too close to the Zeppelin sun here with Josh Kiszka’s soaring back of the room vocals pretty spot on to Robert Plant’s wail, but don’t judge too harshly before giving this one a few close listens. This is no Zep tribute band.
If you like good old fashioned hair on fire Rock and Roll, this is the band for you and in a tidy 4 songs you can get lost in the haze and party likes it’s 1972.