Pitchfork trashes Greta Van Fleet
Greta Van Fleet might be an easy target, but who doesn’t love a brutal negative Pitchfork review that they agree with? The ‘fork slapped a 1.6 on the ridiculously popular Led Zeppelin wannabes today, and it brings us back to the days when we could expect reviews like this more often (though it was only in 2017 when poor Ed Sheeran was given a 2.8 for ÷). Their infamous Jet “review,” on the other hand, is now over ten years old; time flies!
Reviewer Jeremy D. Larson hit GVF with plenty of zingers. Here is an excerpt that’s full of them:
They care so deeply and are so precious with their half-baked boomer fetishism, they mollycoddled every impulse of late-’60s rock‘n’roll into an interminable 49-minute drag. Each song here could be written or played by any of a thousand classic rock cover bands that have standing gigs at sports bars and biker joints across America (the same venues where Greta Van Fleet cut their teeth when they were kids). So why should Greta Van Fleet be the ones signed to Republic and William Morris, because they don’t have bald spots yet? Tons of people in those cover bands play their instruments better than Greta Van Fleet, who are, currently, proficient at best. No one in this band offers anything in the way of personality that doesn’t sound like your average YouTube tutorial for a Jimmy Page-type pentatonic solo or a John Bonham-type shuffle.
And at least Zeppelin knew to separate their sweet-lady-I’m-horny songs from their howling-about-literary-fantasy songs. Hilariously, Greta Van Fleet combine them into one on “The Cold Wind,” where the narrator (who is dying) begs his “sweet mama” to take the family ox (I guess) to town to sell it, when, mid-ox-transaction, this happens: “The Yankee peddler bargains with you on his way/Whoa sweet mama’s gotten herself a new dress.”
That’s funny, but it’s not supposed to be funny, because Greta Van Fleet do not possess self-awareness—at all. When asked about a characteristically ugh lyric (“All my brothers who stand up/For the peace of the land”), Jake responded, in part, “I guess it’s subject to interpretation. But I think the initial idea with that was that, as brothers, we stand for the peace of land. And that was for the good of the Earth, and for man.” Ignoring that this is basically a gag in Spinal Tap, a much better answer that would speak to the spirit of the music they are trying to capture would be: “I don’t know, who gives a shit.”
Head to Pitchfork for more Greta Van Fleet bashing.