Greta Van Fleet's Starcatcher art

Greta Van Fleet – Starcatcher (Album Review)

Greta Van Fleet Band 2023 Photo

Gretta Van Fleet has been a Rock-n-Roll band which has provoked a mixed reaction over the years. A band made up of three brothers, Guitarist Jake Kiszka, Bassist/Keyboardist Sam Kiszka, Vocalist Josh Kiszka, along with Drummer Danny Wagner, together, they have been one of the most promoted Rock-n-Roll acts over the last decade. A blessing and a curse, some critics and cynics have not been very kind to the band. Often dubbing them as a divertive of Led Zeppelin, regardless of this, Greta Van Fleet found success with both their 2018 debut full-length Anthem of the Peaceful Army, as well as 2021’s The Battle at Garden’s Gate.

Both records clearly showed a steady growth from 2017’s From the Fires EP (which won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album at the 61st Grammy Awards), in 2023 the band many love to hate returned with the brand-new album Starcatcher. Released on July 21st through Lava and Republic Records, it consists of ten tracks in total. Exhibiting the band yearned to strip their sound down a little more, yet still try new things, it feels quite live and certainly more raw than recent offerings from the band. Perhaps a result of Greta Van Fleet’s yearning to get back to their roots, they plotted out anticipation for Starcatcher with the promotional single “Meeting the Master” in April, “Scared the Thread” in May, before “Farwell for Now” and “The Falling Sky” both in June.  

Each track showing maturity, the true intrigue of Starcatcher is actually within the six remaining that showed up on Starcatcher upon its release. These include the moody “Fate of the Faithful” and “The Archer,” however, the boldest moments transpire on “The Indigo Streak.”  The latter, a highly addictive song with great guitar work, thick atmosphere, and irresistible vocals, it could be one of the best songs Greta Van Fleet has ever recorded. And with these honorable mentions in mind, there are also more straight-ahead rockers worth stinking your teeth into such as “Runaway Blues.”

In all, Greta Van Fleet captured a moment in time with Starcatcher. What does that mean? It means they encapsulate sounds that are highly genuine, not excessively processed, and successfully put them into compositions which have a quite natural feel. Isn’t that the way Rock-n-Roll was intended? A sign that they have grown, it is also attributed to the production of David Cobb; who has been a leading force in keeping real Rock music alive working with the likes of many artists including Rival Sons. 

All these matters considered; it would be dishonest to ignore that Greta Van Fleet bears a striking resemblance to Led Zeppelin. However, you can also hear hints of Rush, The Doors, as well as countless other Rock-n-Roll legends… but everyone is influenced by something, aren’t they? So, temper your cynical attitude, and be thankful that bands like Greta Van Fleet are keeping Rock-n-Roll alive. That in mind, the band is still out in support of the record with more touring planned for 2024. Worth checking out,  for being a smooth listen with beautiful tone, and well-executed compositions, Cryptic Rock gives Starcatcher 4 out of 5 stars. 

Greta Van Fleet's Starcatcher artwork
Greta Van Fleet – Starcatcher / Lava Records (2023)

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