Rock is dead, they say ... Long live Greta Van Fleet - The Buffalo News

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Rock is dead, they say ... Long live Greta Van Fleet

This is not supposed to happen.

Tastemakers have been wrongly claiming that "rock is dead" for so long now that we have almost come to accept this as reality. Young bands are supposed to play synthesizers badly and party like its 1989, not crank out raucous, bluesy, riff-centered rockers in back of a lead singer who sounds like the spawn of Robert Plant and some Valkyrie goddess.

The four young men who make up Greta Van Fleet didn’t get that memo.

Brothers Josh, Jake and Sam Kiszka and their childhood friend Danny Wagner came to my attention through a Facebook friend who made the inevitable Led Zeppelin comparison and proclaimed that GVF had rekindled his belief in the future of blood-and-guts-and-finesse rock music, writ large. I listened. And when I heard "Highway Tune," of the band's just-released debut "From the Fires," I fell for it, and hard.

These kids – which is not meant to sound condescending, for they are kids, barely past the age of 20 – are turning heads and melting eardrums, and putting the lie to the oft-repeated claim that no one cares about guitar rock these days. When the band performed on Last Call with Carson Daly recently, all of this was underscored.

"We haven’t seen a band like this maybe ever,  at least in terms of all the components, " said Buffalo concert promoter and rock aficionado Donny Kutzbach when I asked him to dish on GVF. "The uncanny Zep-ness is what will draw people in initially. They're young guys who can really play and they have a zeal for traditional rock 'n' roll. The sibling factor adds another layer. They have an intuition when they play together that you don’t get often, outside of sibling bands."

Indeed. Be nice to see these guys in Buffalo, no?

In the meantime, get your grubby mitts on "From the Fires," and play it loud.

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