Greta Van Fleet – Starcatcher

Review of the band’s new album. For some Led Zeppelin cosplayers, for other apostles.

Reviewed July 26, 2023

Matthias Marzi

The American star system provided Joshua Kiske and her partners with pop-rock wizard Greg Kerstin (the one who went from Foo Fighters and Beck to Britney Spears and Katy Perry), which, however, as some critics have pointed out, gave to the “Battle at the Garden Gate” is a slightly more glossy production than the previous one.

In this round, they chose Dave Cobb, a man with a “more fatal” pedigree (he usually works with Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton and Sammy Hagar), deciding to take a step back and restore the rawness of the beginning: “Conceptually, he goes back to our origins, in our garage, with the pure energy of sound,” said bassist Sam Kischka of Starcatcher. With ten tracks contained in their third album, .Greta Van Fleet continues to share. To some, they’re just Led Zeppelin cosplayers, a cover band of wannabes playing music covered in tons of dust, a phenomenon that’s traveled the world for years selling millions of tickets to shows that only work because they hit chords. nostalgia. To others, they are the apostles of old school rock and roll, the clearest and most obvious proof that the elusive spirit of 70s rock and roll is back. The truth, as the “Starcatcher” tracks confirm, lies somewhere in the middle.

From “The Fate of the Believers” to “Goodbye Bye Bye” through “Waited All My Life”, “The Falling Sky”, “The Sacred Thread” and “Meet the Master”: Greta Van Fleet’s rock continues to be frankly and unashamedly ultra-quoted, a thrilling revival , which restores the genre’s historical cornerstones as well as stereotypes. In Starcatcher, Joshua Kiszka and his companions range from blues rock to lightly spiced space rock with psychedelic nuances: “You can’t listen to Starcatcher and, like all previous work, not think you’ve stumbled upon a series of passages. Led Zeppelin and some of their peers,” wrote David Brown in his review of Rolling Stone USA. Maybe, but in an age where electronic pop, rap and trap dominate the charts, the fact that five years after their debut Greta Van Fleet is still around and still being talked about in one way or another is great news: this means that there is still a demand for a band that plays wholesome, serious, a bit “ignorant”, but well-made rock.

Greta Van Fleet recorded the ten tracks contained on the disc at the legendary RCA Studios in Nashville live to capture the energy of her live performances: the shortest – if you exclude the “Runway blues” jam that serves from the intermezzo – is Falling Sky, which lasts 3.

38 minutes, the longest is “The Sacred Thread”, which lasts 5.21 minutes. Greta Van Fleet’s pride and retro pride also emerges from these details: “We listen to a lot of stuff, not by choice, on some radio stations. This “pop music” has no content. It almost offends human intelligence.” It doesn’t matter that five years after their debut, the band is still a “chance”: Greta Van Fleet has left to fill the void, continuing a musical tradition now under more threat than ever. Rock thanks.

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