Trey’s Tunes


Trey Boore

“The Battle at Garden’s Gate” is Greta Van Fleet’s second studio album. It was released in April 2021.

Trey Boore, Reporter

Greta Van Fleet is bringing rock back into the mainstream. Some may say that it died, but that is simply not the case. In reality, other genres of music evolved just like rock did. However, one became more appealing to the mass audience as time went on. It wasn’t until 2017 when a band by the name of “Greta Van Fleet” released the EP “From the Fires”. Instantly, they were dubbed of copying greats such as Led Zeppelin and Rush simply because they sounded like them. Though the resemblance was there, they were creating the actual raw, hard driving rock sound that has been missing for so long. This also raised their popularity, regardless of whether people liked them or not. 

After releasing their successful EP, “From the Fires” in 2017, and album, “Anthem of the Peaceful Army” in 2018, what was to come next was long anticipated. It wasn’t until three years later when the wait was over. After releasing some singles to promote the album, on April 16, 2021, “The Battle at Gardens Gate” was presented to us in full. Featuring 12 brand new songs, the band had taken a more cinematic approach, contrasting from their previous albums. 

A cathedral-like organ opens the LP instantly creating that cinematic feel. Then, it fades in the drums and next thing you know, an explosion of happiness. “Heat Above” is one of the songs on this album to be recognized by many. Mainly blowing up on Tik Tok, it has an upbeat sound and instantly displays the amazing vocals of Josh Kizka. 

On Oct. 9, 2020, “My Way, Soon” was the album’s first single to be released. Topping the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, it’s still one of my favorites. This song really displays the hard rock Greta is capable of and they execute it perfectly. This one also stands out from the rest of the album because it has that raw feel like their previous albums. It’s fast paced and has a very catchy chorus. My favorite part Is probably the last minute of the song when the music stops and goes back and forth with the drums in each pause. 

“Broken Bells” is the next song to follow and I honestly think this is the song that sums up how the rest of the album will go. It’s slower, softer and really shows their ability to compile a piece of art. Towards the end of the relaxing tune, it slowly builds up and continues to grow until finally out comes a beautiful guitar solo from Jake Kizka that breaks the tension. He used a wah pedal to distort the sound of the guitar and might I say it sounds heavenly and fits perfectly to complete it. 

A roar of thunder and a heavy guitar riff later, “Built By Nations” keeps the energy and emotions rolling. Throughout the song, the use of that catchy riff is brought back up again and again which somewhat is used as a transition into the chorus. It then hops into what would be an ending for any normal song but a surprise guitar solo continues to fuel the flame. One thing I do notice which most don’t is the attention to detail for each song. At the very end there’s a small guitar lick followed by a quick fill on the drums which might seem like it’s nothing but in my opinion adds a perfect spin to the end of a song. 

The fifth song on the list is their second single released promoting the album, “Age of Machine”. This one may sound simple but shows a lot of musicianship between the four. Most of the song keeps a steady beat and as per usual and Josh shows off his vocal range with melodic-like screams. One amazing solo later and a blasting chorus, the story of modern day humans being extra reliant on technology seems to end off the same way it started. 

These next three tracks on the album are “Tears of Rain”, “Stardust Chords” and “Light My Love”. I’m grouping them together because they all kind of fit in with the same genre of “Heat Above”. It’s said to be alternative or indie, but with the outstanding vocals of Josh Kizka, it’s hard to group them with anyone else. “Tears of Rain” begins with an almost Spanish-like acoustic guitar and picks up to a nice soft melody. I really like how it slows down about halfway through the song and lets the piano create the emotion allowing the song to pick back up with even more energy than before. “Tears of Rain” is in my opinion one of the more underrated songs on the album and I wish it had more recognition. To follow is “Stardust Chords”, which starts with a cinematic introduction which is clearly a common theme on this album. It then transitions into an upbeat back and forth guitar riff which fully comes together when the rest of the band comes together for yet another solid song. “Light My Love” is another to become quite popular across social media platforms like Tik Tok. I honestly like how free feeling it is. It’s hard for me not to get the urge to throw my hands up in the air like Josh does. 

 The LP moves back into the heavy driven riff style of music. “Caravel” and “The Barbarians” are perfect examples of that. After a massive sounding drum fill from Danny Wagner, heavy perfectly describes the guitar in “Caravel”. I love how they created the feeling of inhales and exhales through the music if that makes sense. As for “The Barbarians”, it gets even better. It opens with an amazing guitar solo again using a wah pedal which makes such a unique sound. The chorus is the kind that repeats in my head constantly and is difficult to get out. The entire mood takes a turn with around one and a half minutes left of the songs. It magically sounds like a massive build up and you’re flying through the clouds which is so amazing to me that it could be captured all in a single song. 

Sam Kizka is the last member of the band that I haven’t mentioned yet. “Trip the Light Fantastic” is the song that features him the most. Opening with Sam on keys, right away he sets it in stone. Not many may agree with me, but this is one of my favorite songs on the album. From the captivating riff, melody and even the lyrics, it’s all just mesmerizing to me. 

Finally, the masterpiece to finish this album, “The Weight of Dreams”. The reason I call it a masterpiece is because it’s one of those classic rock songs that don’t have a continuous back and forth repeating chorus until it ends. It tells a story, and progresses along with it. You can hear subtle changes in their playing builds up, until finally, a snare roll from Danny Wagner when all goes silent. The final breakthrough. Josh Kizka lets out a heavenly scream, Jake Kizka murders a lengthy yet progressive solo and Sam Kizka backs it all up while on keys filling in every note. Just like that, a new, yet classic sounding album comes to an end.