Album review: Greta Van Fleet – Starcatcher

The Kiszka brothers take their rock 'n' roll space odyssey to another dimension on their third full-length

In the ever-changing landscape of music, some things are best left in the past. Yet, once in a while, a band emerges who possess the rare ability to breathe new life into the classics, infusing them with unique energy and making them something truly special again.

Delving deep into the treasure trove of their parents’ record collection, Greta Van Fleet have been fuelling a ‘70s rock ‘n’ roll renaissance since their 2018 debut Anthem Of The Peaceful Army. Advocating for the soul-stirring power of the guitar in a style that welcomed easy comparisons to Led Zeppelin, 2021’s The Battle At Garden’s Gate proved GVF’s mettle as more than just nostalgic-induced mimicry – and Starcatcher only emphasises their evolution.

Comprised of brothers Josh [vocals], Jake [guitar] and Sam Kiszka [bass], along with drummer Danny Wagner, Greta Van Fleet hit back with a record that marks a return to the raw, explosive energy of their formative years in the Kiszka garage. They might still be carrying the torch for an older musical heritage, but album three sees the young rock phenoms channelling that spirit into an exhilarating expansion of their own sound.

From the gradual build of opener ‘Fate Of The Faithful’, with its Jimmy Page-style riff centrepiece, to the frenetic chaos of eighty-second-long frolic ‘Runway Blues’ – each moment on Starcatcher feels carefully calculated to showcase the best of what Greta Van Fleet have to offer. 

Greta Van Fleet - Meeting the Master (Official Audio)

Conjuring up a rich sonic universe across its short 10-track length, songs like ‘The Indigo Streak’ and ‘Frozen Light’ feel like wonderfully chiselled interpretations of the band’s roots, while the unpredictable surge of ‘The Archer’ and scaled-back acoustic ‘Meeting The Master’ amplify their growing virtuosity. Rich with glorious, emotive melodies partnered with Josh Kiszka’s mighty wail, each note pushes and pulls their sound in poignant new directions.

A celestial odyssey that solidifies Greta Van Fleet’s position as a formidable force in contemporary rock, Starcatcher proves the band’s ability to reach higher. Embracing their roots whilst constantly seeking out fresh challenges, it’s an invitation to embark on a cosmic journey. If rock ‘n’ roll is the spaceship, Greta Van Fleet are firmly in the pilot seat.

Released: 21 July 2023
Label: Lava / Republic Records
On Tour: November 2023