Greta Van Fleet, a young rock band that has gained immense popularity over the last few years due to its reminiscent classic-rock sound, released its second studio album, The Battle at Garden’s Gate, last week.
The band stuck to its genre, continuing to include the shredding guitar solos and drawn-out vocals they are known for. However, the album brought a unique style the band was criticized for lacking in previous releases in an effort to break free from its music’s association with the ever-esteemed Led Zeppelin.
Tracks like “Caravel,” “Stardust Chords” and “Built By Nations” have catchy and well-placed electric guitar lines while “Heat Above” and “Light My Love” succeed in creating heartfelt anthems.
Being a classic-rock lover myself, I’ve always been an avid fan of Greta Van Fleet, but this album allows fans a firsthand view into the sound the band strives for. The album’s theme addresses the group’s belief that modern-day society is powered by superficial institutions, and it provides a window into the band’s need for a more natural and fulfilling world.
The album touches upon many spiritual and morally challenging themes, such as our dependence on technology and our culture stepping away from human connection. The record’s strongest quality is its ability to set the band apart from its previously constrictive genre.
The band, since the release of its first album in 2018, has finally created an identity of its own. In the early years of stardom, Greta Van Fleet’s music had a recognizable similarity to Led Zeppelin that many classic-rock fans shamed them for. Others, however, viewed the band as a revival of a music style that was on the verge of being forgotten. This album, if anything, helps the band make a name for itself among listeners who found the music to be repetitive.
That being said, some tracks, like “Light My Love,” have some lyrical components that appear slightly tacky. The band’s psychedelic nature, while being an essential piece of classic rock’s composition, can seem silly in the 21st century. However, influential bands such as The Doors, Led Zeppelin, The Who and even The Beatles rose to fame because of their subtext toward the psychedelic hippie movement, which seemed unusual at the time.
The Battle at Garden’s Gate is a great modern rock album, allowing a new generation to put its own touch on a retro style of music. Greta Van Fleet has taken on the role of keeping rock and roll alive in a way many ’60s and ’70s bands would be proud to witness.