Between ‘When the Curtain Falls’ and ‘Watching Over’, every single from Greta Van Fleet’s forthcoming debut album has heralded a new age for rock music. Described as Led Zeppelin for millennials, this four-man band from Detroit has continued to silence critics with every release. With their latest single ‘Lover, Leaver’ dropping last week, they have taken the hard rock sound that was teased on their first EP, Black Smoke Rising, and developed on their second EP, From the Fires, to deliver their best track to date.
‘Lover, Leaver’ and Greta Van Fleet is actively reviving a lost sound. With a chugging bass guitar, heavy drums, shredding guitar and a stellar vocalist, every aspect of this song highlights the genuine musical talent of these four up-and-coming rock stars. The opening riff, fit with a thumping rhythmic line from the bass and drums, kick starts the track with a larger than life energy that embodies the song. When vocalist Josh Kiszka finally enters, it’s with an almost mythical vocal range borrowed directly from the legendary Robert Plant. The lyrics draw on this mythos, using imagery of heaven and hell, wind and fire, and Satan himself to build a sense of grandeur to match the band’s huge sound. The chorus, “Lover, Leaver, Taker, Believer” not only epitomises the grandiose style of the song, but the bands extravagantly colourful rock sound. The instruments go silent, with only a steady bass drum to accompany the epic vocals, before exploding in a series of playfully virtuosic bass and lead guitar fills. Before the second chorus continues to expand this large sonic scale, guitarist Jake Kiszka delivers a mind-melting guitar solo that reminds the listener that, for as impressive as his twin brother’s vocals are, their musical talent is clearly hereditary. While the second verse evoked the same powerful imagery, with lines like “Satan plays his flute for him, the sound it burns his ears,” it is the final chorus that drives it home. With the same line, “Lover, Leaver, Taker, Believer”, repeated, the accompaniment doesn’t slow down like in the first chorus, but ramps up for an end sequence that goes full throttle to the end. Josh Kiszka’s seemingly effortless vocals howl over the ecstatic instrumentation, fuelling the listener’s adrenaline until the final beat.
While these three minutes are breathtakingly good, fans of Greta Van Fleet’s live sets will know that this is only the studio version. The live version has an extra five minutes, including a bass solo from the youngest Kiszka brother, Sam, that proves the rhythm and bass are as equally impressive as the melodies and riffs. Greta Van Fleet’s debut album, Anthem of a Peaceful Army is out on October 19, and judging from the singles already released, looks to reshape the modern rock landscape.