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Review of Greta Van Fleet's EP "From The Fires" (track by track):

Updated: Jan 25, 2021

Rock ‘n’ Roll? It’ll kill your soul. In the best possible way. Growing up on classic rock and all that bullshit your parents and grandparents listen to that you think is crap, is one of the best genres of music to be raised on. You might think “Oh, that’s my parents’ music”, “Oh, that’s too old for me”. You might be an asshole if… Some of your bands like Blink 182, Green Day, quite possibly even Justin Bieber and One Direction (I mean, seriously). Believe it or not, there was a time where Rock was the main genre of music. The '60s and '70s Rock ‘n’ Roll was really the prime time of the genre. The '40s and '50s were when the genre was kind of being created. The '80s were the years where the hair bands came out to play and melt your face off with smashing guitar solos, smashing guitars, guy liner, etc. The '90s and beyond was when Rock started to get depressing and sad. Bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, etc. are all LEGENDARY bands… But also have some very depressing lyrics. No, not all Rock songs are sad or depressing now-a-days, but something has been missing from this genre for a great while. And what has been missing? Greta Van Fleet.

I know. You’re probably asking yourself, “Greta Van Fleet? Don’t know her.” Or maybe you’re that asshole that says, “Oh, that Led Zeppelin rip off? They suck”. With all due respect, you’re wrong on that one. Everyone is entitled to have their own opinions, and nobody will be forced to like this band from yours truly. But seriously people, have some respect. When fans hate on bands or artists they don’t like, it’s actually spreading hate. Crazy, right? There are a lot of people out there that voice “Stop Hate! Don’t spread hate! Spread love!”. But those are the same people that hate on bands, artists, creators, etc. just because they don’t personally like them. If you do not personally like and support an artist, that is completely okay. BUT please respect them. Personally, as a fan of MANY artists, genres, etc. I find that I am not a fan of popular genres of music such as Pop, Country, Rap, etc. I do have artists and songs of those genres that I do like and support, but not the genres overall. PLEASE RESPECT ARTISTS EVEN IF YOU DO NOT SUPPORT THEM.

Anyway, even with millions of fans that Greta Van Fleet has worldwide, there are still people who have not heard of them. Well, if you have an open mind and are looking for something different and inspiring in your life, you have come to the right place.

Growing up in a town of five thousand people in a town called Frankenmuth, Michigan, twenty-three-year-old twins, a twenty-year-old younger brother and a twenty-year-old best friend all came together to bring back good ol’ fashion Rock ‘n’ Roll. Even though they don’t portray it that way. The band consists of lead singer, Josh Kiszka, guitarist and twin Jake Kiszka, little brother on bass Sammy Kiszka and head-banging best friend Daniel Wagner on drums. From playing hometown shows, to legendary venues such as Troubadour and Viper Room, to selling out Fox Theatres and festivals, Greta Van Fleet has come to take over.

But the kind of music that they play isn’t depressing, isn’t angry, it’s actually very uplifting music. With songs about nature, happiness, freedom and love… What Rock is truly all about. But what’s also great is this isn’t a band that only older people like. Not a band that only younger girls and women like. This is a band that brings together people of all ages, of all backgrounds, of all different walks of life. “Our crowds usually range from age eight to eighty”, Jake Kiszka once said in an interview. So, you don’t have to be a certain age, a certain look, or a certain mind set to like this band. All you have to do is open up your mind.

The band released an EP called “From The Fires” in 2017 (which is actually a lyric from their smash hit song called “Black Smoke Rising”) and that’s when the world took notice.

How this EP starts could not have a better start. “Safari Song” is the first track and is also how the band opens their shows sometimes. The guitar killer younger twin (by ten minutes) smashes a riff that is so rockin’ you feel like you want to jump off a cliff. (This is a joke people, I am not serious) With the vocals of Josh screaming the lyrics, you’re really being invited into something you can’t even imagine until you experience it.

Lyrics that hooked me:

“Oo lady won’t you move my way, can’t ya move my way, I’m gettin’ hazy”

“Oh mama, when you give your lovin’, when you give your love, you drive me crazy”

“Ah mama what you gonna do with all that love in your heart?”

“Oh mama when you walk this way why don’t you give me some lovin’?”

“See mama gotta feel your everything, feel your everything, I really wanna know”

“See mama when you shine you’re shinin’ bright give your given right I really want our love to grow”

“Do you remember what I said when I got down on my knees? Gotta get your lovin’ baby, lovin’s all I need. Don’t make me beg now baby, don’t make me bleed. I gave you all a man could give and you still walked out on me.”

The second track on this double EP is one that is definitely better live… But then again, I believe Greta Van Fleet is better live anyway. “Edge Of Darkness”. Sounds superior, doesn’t it? Wait till you hear it live. A song about awareness of peace and land. The total time of the recorded track? Four minutes and twenty-eight seconds. Total time of the live version? Roughly ten to twelve minutes. It’s also the track where Jake (guitarist) plays a solo behind his head as the crowd goes nuts for him.

Lyrics that hooked me:

“All my brothers we stand for the peace of the land, is there meaning? I’ve got love in my heart for an army apart, I am bleeding”

“Always searching for love, always searching for light, what the world is made of when I’m thinking it’s right. And to think we’ve found the time.”

“Now there’s always this case of what we call a manifestation. What the mind can do for the body and the future of a lifetime. And what this song is about is the power of inner mind. That kind of thing working. It’s about finding freedom. It’s about finding self-help. And pretty much anything is possible. That I know for sure. So, let’s just bask a little bit in this next one… It’s called Flower Power.”

Lyrics that hooked me:

“She’s a lantern in the night, she’s outta sight”

“It turns to night, fire light, star shines in her eyes, makes me feel like I’m alive, she’s outta sight”

“Electric gold our love with tender care”

“She’s a sparrow of the dawn, our love is born”

“And as the days turn to night, are the wrongs the rights you are my sunshine, and as the nights begin to die, we are the morning birds that sing against the sky”

A Change Is Gonna Come is one of two covers that Greta Van Fleet has on this EP. Originally done by Sam Cooke, this track matches perfectly with the nature style of this EP.

Lyrics that hooked me:

“It’s been a long time comin’, but I know a change is gonna come”

Oh, you know this one. “Whoaaaaaaa Mama.” It’s Highway Tune! This is the track that really got this band on their feet. Getting radio play not only all over America, not only Canada, but all over the world.

Lyrics that hooked me:

“So sweet, so fine, so nice”

“No stopping on the highway girl I wanna burn my gas, there’s one girl that I know I’m never gonna pass.”

“She is my special, she is my special, she is my midnight, midnight yeah”

Another cover by Fairport Convention, “Meet On The Ledge” was first released in 1968 by the British Folk rock band. This song has been covered many times by various bands such as Counting Crows (2012) and Greta Van Fleet (2017).

Lyrics that hooked me:

“Meet on the ledge, we’re gonna meet on the ledge, when the time is up, I’ll see all my friends”

“Meet on the ledge, we’re gonna meet on the ledge, if you really mean it, it all comes around again”

“Now I see I’m all alone, that’s the only way to be, you’ll have your chance again, then you can do the work for me”

Talk On The Street. The superior track of this double EP, am I right? You know I am. A song where “everybody’s talkin’”. The guitar riff in this song has such a great beat and it’s so fun to rock out to in your room, your car, or even a Greta Van Fleet concert! (play it) Also, shout out to Joshua M. Kiszka for changing the lyrics during the live version of this song!

Lyrics that hooked me:

“Oh mama you walk this way and I’m crying inside, well I’ve been there before and you know that it’s time”

“And everybody’s talking but you never let them know yes I can hear them talking”

“Everyone knows that there’s talking on the streets, remember the days when there’s no one to defeat, follow me down to the mountain of the sun, forgetting the end as your new life has begun”

“Look mama the light is low and the darkness near, yes everyone is looking for me and you, and the night watches your fear”

Bonus live lyrics:

“Everyone knows that there’s talking on the streets, so as it goes you can learn your every need, wondering why on the mountain of the sun”

And finally, a fan favorite, Black Smoke Rising. A song about awareness of nature, conservation, climate change and people coming together. The “Black Smoke Rising” EP was the first music the band ever publicly released in early 2017. The four tracks on this platinum-selling EP are Highway Tune, Safari Song, Flower Power and of course, Black Smoke Rising.

Lyrics that hooked me:

“And the black smoke rises from the fires we’ve been told, it’s the new age crisis and we will stand up in the cold”

“Many people are dividing and a world apart with just one heart”

“We won’t stand alone, we stand up in the cold”

And this concludes my review of From the Fires. A review of Anthem of the Peaceful Army is coming soon.

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