By Dave Resto
2017 has unquestionably been a breakout year for Greta Van Fleet. Rock and Blues Muse readers overwhelmingly praised the release of their impressive debut EP, Black Smoke Rising (Republic Records) back in April. On November 10th, the young rockers from Frankenmuth, Michigan released their second EP, From the Fires (Republic Records) featuring four new tracks, plus the four tracks on Black Smoke Rising.
The track list is mostly structured to follow the simple formula of alternating songs from the first EP and the second EP, beginning in now familiar territory with the previously released “Safari Song.” Guitarist, Jake Kiszka opens with that sly riff, where he cleverly mimics the sound and feel of electric slide by employing some deft finger work and a bit of overdrive. Vocalist, Josh Kiszka’s opening wail here has gone on to become one of Greta Van Fleet’s immediately recognizable signatures.
In contrast, “Edge of Darkness” begins with a deliberate, hyper-articulated guitar intro that sets the pace for this gently rolling but very powerful song. “Edge…” breathes and pulses with the adventurous and wandering, yet pointed bass lines of Sam Kiszka and the appropriately heavy-handed drumming of Danny Wagner. I especially love the breakdown, where Jake’s guitar initiates the riff line for eight measures before he’s joined by Sam’s bass to double up on the riff for eight more measures, followed by Wagner’s four measure, chocked full of thunder drum fill. All that leads to a spectacular outro, with Josh’s vocals leading the charge.