Greta Van Fleet hail from Frankenmuth, Michigan, home of Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland, the store that keeps the holiday spirit alive nearly every day of the year. Living with the specter of Santa is bound to keep a young man residing in a fantasy land, and so it is with Greta Van Fleet: They inhabit a world they never experienced, namely the '70s. Every member of Greta Van Fleet -- which consists of a heap of brothers called Kiszka and a drummer named Danny Wagner, all born too late to witness either Kingdom Come or Jimmy Page & Robert Plant's Unledded reunion -- act as if the earth stopped turning in 1974, the year when Led Zeppelin still traded in myths learned from J.R.R. Tolkien and strode the earth like golden gods. Try as they may -- and, lordy, do they try -- Greta Van Fleet never seem immortal on Anthem of the Peaceful Army, the 2018 album billed as their debut (From the Fires, a record that is only 12 minutes shorter than Anthem, is apparently a double-EP). Blame it on GVF's desperate desire to hit their marks precisely. The group is so intent on recapturing the majestic lumber of Zeppelin at their peak, they dare not miss a step, letting the riffs pile up so they suggest epics. Sometimes, guitarist Jake Kiszka, bassist Sam Kiszka, and drummer Danny Wagner do work up a head of drama -- no swing, of course, because it's harder to replicate John Bonham's beat than approximate Jimmy Page's guitar army -- but they're undone by Josh Kiszka, a singer who is intent on singing with velocity that he can't muster. Josh may be the weak link, but he merely reveals how the whole band seem to have learned their moves from watching late-night concerts on Palladium while buying pre-worn vintage-styled T's at Urban Outfitters. For the band and audience alike, Greta Van Fleet is nothing more than cosplay of the highest order.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine