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Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, Jul 17th, 2019

Greta Van Fleet: Champagne & Caviar

Greta Van Fleet
Champagne & Caviar
(Lava Music/Republic Records)

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Sorry, but I just can’t bow down to the altar of Greta Van Fleet. If I want to listen to music that sounds like Led Zepplin, Queen or any other classic band, I’ll listen to those classic (and quite frankly better) bands. Sure, it’s cool that a younger band is wearing their influences so blatantly (on the front cover of this new live album the foursome pose Bohemian Rhapsody-style), still, there is nothing really all that interesting here in the songs or delivery.

Champagne & Caviar, the band’s latest, was recorded in Osaka, Japan in January of this year.

Songs like the very noisy “Highway Tune,” balance between the brashest Zep and even have a sprinkling of The Darkness in them, and while “Edge of Darkness” has a cool chorus (and the first real use of melody) Josh Kiszka’s screaming just gets too much for me, as it so often does throughout the album. The Zep-sounding alike is just too much for me on “Flower Power,” and the light remake attempt at John Denver’s “The Music is You” is a little too loose-y goosey to really stick together.

“Evil,” the Howlin’ Wolf cover is short and blistering and probably works the best out of all the attempts here. While “Watching Over,” sees some solid guitar work from Jake Kiszka but goes on way too long.

Thankfully the band does get to grooving near the album’s end with third-from-last tune “The Cold Wind,” the best here.

It’s not that Greta Van Fleet are not good players, they are. I just can’t get with a pose, groove, and overall style I have heard better years before, many times over.

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Greta Van Fleet: Champagne & Caviar