From the Fires – Greta Van Fleet

What a lovely album! You’ve gotta love the way those slow, purposeful riffs get under your skin in “Edge of Darkness”, and the switch to Mixolydian is a nice touch. Though the music certainly isn’t as complex as their predecessors Led Zeppelin, Greta Van Fleet has a unique knack for developing riffs beautifully and creating perfect harmonies. Their work on this album just feels so bright, and I love it. Just listen to the opening riff of “Black Smoke Rising”- that kind of beautiful stuff is all over this album, but often faster. My personal favorite song here is “Talk On the Street”, but I’m a sucker for speedy songs full of Dorian-Aeolian mode mixture. (IV and VIb chords just go well together!) This band is capitalizing on 70’s nostalgia, with a (pardon the pun) seedy ballad called “Flower Power” as track three and covers of “A Change Is Gonna Come” and “Meet on the Ledge” as tracks four and six, but some people are into that sort of thing and it certainly aids the band’s stage presence. The riff to “Safari Song” is also excellent, and it’s got this sort of angular agency that you don’t often hear; it feels alive, and that’s incredible. Of course, we have to talk about “Highway Tune”, that stick of dynamite based on an epic chugging rhythm, a riff that will go down in history, and a scream that, to me, is the sound of life itself. You’ve gotta love this vocalist’s alien take on every note, especially when he strains for the high notes (once again, I must note how “Talk on the Street” shines). I’m definitely going to jam out to these riffs on a regular basis.

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