Notable new releases this week are lean but here’s four to investigate – Girl Ray, comprised of three 19 year old girls who started playing together in high school 3 years ago (same North London high school where the Kinks formed), have released their debut LP “Earl Grey” which has an indie pop flair with a warm vintage sound and they combine many influences to create their own sound. Randy Newman has released his first album in 9 years “Dark Matter” and he’s always worth checking out. Dead Cross, comprised of Mike Patton (Faith No More), Dave Lombardo (Slayer) and two other guys have released their thrash-tinged S/T debut. Finally Rope Sect, which is a German band with a subdued gothic punk sound have dropped “Personae Ingratae” and they have an interesting sound worth checking out.
I’m not going to pass on a rock band that can capture some of the vintage Led Zeppelin sound and energy and also put their own mark on their sound (I’ll take Led Zep over the Beatles any day). Wolfmother and Rival Sons are two bands that immediately come to mind where the soul of Zeppelin is strong. Now we also have Greta Van Fleet coming on the scene who also bring in a whole lot of Led Zep vibe.
Coming out of Frankenmuth, MI, these young whippersnappers have been playing together for over 4 years. 3 of the 4 members are brothers (twins Josh Kiska on vocals and Jake Kiska on guitar, younger brother Sam Kiska on bass and Daniel Wagner is behind the kit). 3 years ago they recorded a live EP, and Chevy latched onto “Standing On” for an Equinox ad. The quartet then got signed to Lava Records.
This label helped them get a song “Highway Tune” on the Showtime series “Shameless” and this song also acts as the anchor for their debut EP “Black Smoke Rising”. It’s only 4 tracks, but a ton of fun to listen to as Josh channels a young Robert Plant on vocals (luckily Plant is alive or there would be reincarnation talk). Yes, there’s a lot of Led Zep in their 4 original songs, but they perform with so much enthusiasm and energy it keeps things fresh. I’m sure these guys likely kill it live, so check this band out if they’re playing in your city at a local club. It may be your chance in the future to say you saw these guys in a small club before they were playing stadiums. I’m eager to see what Greta Van Fleet can do when they are ready to release their debut full-length album. Check out the songs below and don’t be surprised if they put a smile on your face! Special thanks to Braden for pointing this band out to me!
“Highway Tune” – Yes, similar guitar tone to Page, and then the Plant wail kicks in. Man, these guys could be a killer Led Zeppelin cover band. This song is short and sweet.
“Safari Song” – Another great Plant wail to kick off the song. The 3 musicians have a good chemistry and seem pretty locked in on this song (the drummer is channeling Bonham here).
– live version – these guys can really play/sing (check out the drum solo 4 minutes in)
“Black Smoke Rising” – What do you know, the beginning of this song doesn’t sound just like Led Zep. And Josh kicks up his register a bit so he sounds just a little bit unlike Plant. This song is a little bit more slowed down than the first two. If Great Van Fleet can get their sound a few more degrees away from Zeppelin, it will benefit them going forward.