Back in September, I said, “I’ll call it right now, when [Greta Van Fleet‘s] debut full-length hits, they’ll be the biggest band in the world within a month.” After listening to the new double EP, From the Fires (0ut November 10th), I stand by it. But keep in mind, this is not the album that I’m talking about above. I’m not saying that because this album doesn’t blow me away. I’m only not saying it about this one because we’ve already heard four of the eight songs. The way that they’re arranged, recorded, and handed it to us is spot on, perfection.
That being said, when they do come at us with a brand new, never-before-heard, full-length Greta Van Fleet record, no one will be able to touch them.
Unless you’ve seen them live or searched for live videos on YouTube, you haven’t heard four of the songs on From the Fires. ” These four songs open up a whole new chapter for Greta Van Fleet. The boys expand their sound miles past where they were when the first EP was recorded and I’d wager a bet, it comes in part from their non-stop touring.
Let’s break down the songs on From the Fires, shall we?
- 1.” Safari Song” (song 3 on EP1) – This is just a beast of a song. If you listened to the first EP, Black Smoke Rising, you’re very familiar with Josh’s incredible vocals at the beginning of this one. It’s the perfect opening song. That goes for albums, shows, or just introducing someone to the band.
2. “Edge of Darkness” – Now we’re diving into some uncharted territory. This is the first song not on the first EP. While it’s definitely that incredible Greta Van Fleet sound, it gives a nod to an almost more playful side of the band. Everything from Sam’s bass bouncing throughout, to Danny’s backbone drums, to Jake’s undeniably impressive guitar solos, to the forefront where Josh shines, really stretching out just how far he can take his vocal chords. It’s an impressive first tease.
3. “Flower Power” (song 4 on EP1) – This song hits on so many different things all at once. Yes, we heard it on the first, but the guitar work on it needs to be doubled up on and the drums somehow come off as aggressive while having the softest touch. The finger-picking makes this one a stand-out across the board. Whoever they’re singing about, “She’s outta sight.”
4. “A Change Is Gonna Come” – And a change does come. This is another new one, and it takes everything a little slower with an added influx of even older blues and soul. It should come as no surprise when you recognize this song, as it was written and released by Sam Cooke back in 1964. I feel like this song was thrown in for two reasons. One, it’s one of the most beautiful songs of all time, and two, it really shows where and who these guys are influenced by. With some incredible choral sections, no one listening to this is going to believe that this sound comes out of some young guys from Frankenmuth, Michigan.
5. “Highway Tune” (song 1 on EP1) – If you’re familiar with the guys, you’ve no doubt heard this one first or saw the music video. Throwing this song in at number five does so much for this album. You know it’s coming, you expect it to be right up front, but then it doesn’t come until you’re past the halfway point, and you welcome your old friend to the show. Then… what comes next knocks you on your ass.
6. “Meet Me On The Ledge” – This song transports you directly into a small Bavarian town where the buttons on the jukebox are worn down. With the lyrics, “Too many friends who tried / Blown off this mountain with the wind” followed directly by “Meet on the ledge / We’re gonna meet on the ledge / When my time is up I’ll see all my friends,” you feel like they’ve lived so many lives before putting these words to paper. This song solidifies the band as 30 years in the past and 30 years in the future; somehow at the same time.
7. “Talk On The Street” – Up until this point, we’ve had old song, new song, old, new, old, new… and we’re expecting another old. Not on their watch! This song is possibly my favorite on From the Fires, and it’s no doubt one of the most complex. Could this be a song about their new found fame? “Everyone knows / That there’s talkin’ on the streets / Remember the days / when there’s no one to defeat.” But as they know, the war has only just begun.
8. “Black Smoke Rising” (song 2 on EP1) – And with a strong close, the title song from their first EP, we’re left wanting so hard that it feels like we were just given a gift and it was taken away. Not because the song isn’t incredible, but because it’s the last on the 33 minute album and we’re left wanting so much more.
With the double EP, we get a taste of what a full album will look and feel like. And, if this is just a taste, I can’t imagine what the full meal has in store.
Rock is alive and well with Jake, Danny, Josh, and Sam.
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