Greta Van Fleet Channels Led Zeppelin with ‘Black Smoke Rising’

By Foster Dunigan / September 19, 2017

I remember being 13 years old, sitting on my parent’s couch, eating Cheetos and watching TV. I was about to use my orange fingers to change the channel when a commercial for Led Zeppelin’s How the West Was Won came on the tube and my entire life change forever. Hearing Robert Plant blast through “Immigrant Song” for the first time and John Bonham shedding on “Moby Dick” made me unable to process anything else but their virtuosity. They immediately became my favorite band of all time and that will never change.

Fast forward 14 years, I am sitting in my car scrolling through Facebook when I see a post about a relatively new rock ‘n’ roll band called Greta Van Fleet. I find their new EP, Black Smoke Rising, and click play on the first track, “Highway Tune.” Immediately, I am teleported back to my parent’s couch in the spring of 2003. There is Jake Kiszka’s opening guitar lick coupled with his brother Josh Kiszaka’s absolute powerhouse of a voice, third brother Sam Kiszaka’s bass chugging right along and Danny Wagner supplying the thumping backbeat. This band rocks.

While “Highway Tune” sucked me in, the rest of the EP does not come anywhere close to disappointing. “Safari Song” sees Josh channel his inner Robert Plant even more as he elevates his voice to mesmerizing levels. “Flower Power” brings things down a notch while also supplying one of the EP’s defining moments, a beautiful and powerful organ solo. The band picks the tempo right back up with “Black Smoke Rising,” the title track which left me wanting more in the best way possible.

Four tracks and 17 minutes can go by quickly, but Black Smoke Rising packs a powerful punch reminiscent of one of the best band’s ever to grace the stage. Each song reminded me exactly why I started to play music in the first place, and that’s to have fun. I would be shocked if the guys are not having a blast, recently selling out clubs all over the country in support of their debut EP. Keep Greta Van Fleet on your radar, they are about to become a household name.

Track Listing:

  1. Highway Tune
  2. Safari Song
  3. Flower Power
  4. Black Smoke Rising


Josh Kiszka – Vocals

Sam Kiszka – Bass

Jake Kiszka – Guitar

Danny Wagner – Drums

About the author

Foster Dunigan