Greta Van Fleet – “Anthem of the Peaceful Army” Album Review

A time when rock stars wore their hair down to their shoulders, and music allowed you to escape into heavy guitar riffs and deeply poetic lyrics. That is what Greta Van Fleet encompasses in their new album “Anthem of the Peaceful Army.”

The band faces constant comparisons to Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and Jimmy Page causing a response of appraisal or in some cases backlash, and although there will always be critics out to say the worst, Greta’s first work was a radiant start to something beautiful. The band of brother’s first EP “From the Fires” caused a boom in the rock world landing them on lineups across the country from Coachella to Lollapalooza. They received approval from Elton John, Tom Hanks, and even Robert Plant. It is apparent when listening to the band that they are inspired by a dense vinyl collection from rock of other generations.

The album begins with the feverous song, “Age of Man;” its slow start entices listeners to embark on a 10 song journey. It is the first of many layers the band created on the album. The record quickly moves towards the hard rock sound they’re known for, as songs such as “The Cold Wind” and “Lover, Leaver” show their ability to successfully pull off complex guitar solos. To juxtapose these heavier moments, rock ballads such as “Anthem” and “You’re the One” bring a sense of peace and tranquility to the album by having acoustic guitars string the songs along. The record additionally finds a middle ground between these two styles; the songs “Watching Over” and “Brave New World” utilize some eerie guitar riffs which bridges the styles into something in between.

Unfortunately, the band still has some work to be done on creating a more personal and unique aspect to their music and lyrics; something bands like the Beatles, Nirvana, and Cage The Elephant have seemed to accomplish through drawing personal stories hidden beneath their epical lyricism. As it is their first full length album, in time there’s a strong possibility that they will be able to use their platform to discover their own unique sound and voice in the rock world.

Rock music of the 70’s was inspired by political and social strife. Currently, we are experiencing a similar social divide among us. Greta Van Fleet’s desire to bring back the themes and sounds of that time only makes sense. It is about time that a band takes the risk of continuing on a sound that got lost in the future generations. The band has the potential to excel, they now just have to prove to the world they are ready to take it.  

Written by: Kelly Kerrigan

Neighborhood Jams: Jennie Vee

Hello, KCR readers, and happy Wednesday! This has been a great semester of my first ever neighborhood jams, and I want to thank you all for joining me on this adventure. For one of my last posts this year I am featuring a great singer, songwriter, guitarist, bassist, woman extraordinaire – Jennie Vee! She recently performed at two venues in San Diego this last weekend – M Theory Records and Soda Bar. At both venues the crowd really fell in love with her warm vocals and harmonious guitar riffs, and here’s why…

New Yorker, Vee, has been an avid member of the music industry for some time now. Vee has performed with Courtney Love’s band as the bassist, and also with Lana Del Rey. She toured the UK; interviewed with some well-known magazines; and reached 345% of her goal for “Pledge Music Campaign” for an upcoming 2016 UK tour. This lady has been on fire this year, and two months ago she released her first full-length album Spying on October 15th, 2015. This album has some great tracks, and my personal favorites are: Spying, Dreamtime, and Rock n Roll. Each of these songs sound so sweet and as worded on her Facebook, “Melancholic Dream Pop” which is a perfect description. You can’t help but close your eyes and sway to her melodies. As she sings her dreamy lyrics and strums the guitar you get a real sense that she put a lot of heart and passion into each tune.

Jennie Vee sounds like a combination of Best Coast and The Cure with a dash of groovy psychedelic riffs. Along with her brand new album Vee also has a great EP – Die Alone from September 2014. You are able to get her new album on iTunes and also at her Band Camp here. I suggest purchasing her entire discography for the low price of $15.75 – you truly cannot put a price on happy, fun music. Be sure to give her a like on Facebook as well.