PBS Taking Audiences Through The History Of The Circus Next Week In New ‘AmEx’ Episode

Courtesy: PBS Distribution

PBS Distribution will release another new episode of its hit series American Experience next week.

American Experience: The Circus is scheduled to be released on DVD next Tuesday, Nov. 6.  The four-hour, two-part doc will retail for MSRP of $29.99, but can be pre-ordered online now via PBS’ online store at a reduced price of $24.99.

The program follows the rich history of the circus, from its earliest days as a one-ring show in Philadelphia in the 18th century to the rise of P.T. Barnum’s circus to the eventual merger of the famed Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.  The program’s total run time is 240 minutes, and includes stories about the stars of the circus, as it grew along with much more.

A trailer for the episode is streaming online now here.

More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AmericanExperiencePBS

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS

 

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Blacklist Union Pays Tribute To Late Friend With Free Album Download

Veteran underground rock band Blacklist Union is giving audiences the chance to download one of its albums for free.

The band is making its 2015 album Back to Momo available for download for free through the end of the year.  The limited time offer is being made to audiences as a tribute to former New York hardcore guitar legend Todd Youth.  Youth was a longtime friend of Blacklist Union front man Tony West, and helped craft the album.

West mourned his friend in a written statement.

“I just lost one of my best friends,” West wrote on Saturday following the announcement of Youth’s passing.  “We wrote this amazing record together.  I want to make sure people hear it.  Todd had a fire in his soul for rock ‘n’ roll.  I’m going to miss you so much.  I love you very much, Todd.  See you on the other side, my friend.  R.I.P.”

Back To Momo spawned the singles ‘Alive-N-Well Smack in the Middle of Hell‘ and ‘Evil Eye.’  The record’s full track listing is noted below.

Track List:
1. Intro
2. Alive-N-Well Smack in the Middle of Hell
3. Shake It Off
4. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
5. Evil Eye
6. Super Jaded
7. Rock N Roll Outlaw
8. Back to Momo
9. We Are Not Saints
10. It’s All About You
11. Meet Me on Zen Street
12. Graveyard Valentine
13. Wined, Dined, & 69’d
14. Read Between the Lines

More information on Blacklist Union is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.blacklistunion.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BlacklistUnionRocks

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BlistUnion

 

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Blacklite District Debuts ‘Hard Pill To Swallow’ Video

Underground electronic/hip-hop outfit Blacklite District has unveiled the video for its latest single.

The duo unveiled the video for the song ‘Hard Pill To Swallow’ on Oct. 10.  The song is the lead single from the pair’s upcoming fourth full-length studio recording Through The Ages, and originally premiered online via Billboard.com.  The album’s release date has not been announced.

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

The video was filmed outside the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center in Anaheim, CA by DZFX Media.  Group member Kyle Pfeiffer said the interaction with DZFX Media happened by chance, adding the video was just one of a group filmed at the noted location.

“We worked with DZFX Media in Southern California on the video,” Pfeiffer said.  “I literally ran into him at Guitar Center while I was picking up something for our studio sessions for the new album.  We started talking right there at the counter, and ended up shooting three videos that week, with ‘Hard Pill To Swallow’ being the first.”

More information on Blacklite District’s new video, album and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.blacklitedistrict.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BlackliteDistrict

Twitter: http://twitter.com/officialbld

 

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The Clay People To Serve As Support For Otep On Upcoming Dates

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Veteran underground rock outfit The Clay People has been tapped to join Otep for a short string of live dates.

The Clay People will serve as support for Otep on its current headlining tour between Dec. 12 and Dec. 16.  The schedule takes the bands through Georgia, Sout hCarolina, Alabama and Tennessee respectively.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

Tour Dates w/ OTEP & One Day Waiting:
12/12 @ The Masquerade (Hell) – Atlanta, GA
12/13 @ Ground Zero – Spartanburg, SC
12/14 @ Sidetracks Music Hall – Huntsville, AL
12/15 @ The Warehouse – Clarksvill, TN
12/16 @ Rockhouse Live – Memphis, TN

The Clay People’s upcoming dates with Otep are in support of The Clay People’s latest full-length studio recording Demon Hero and Other Extraordinary Phantasmagoric Anomalies & Fables.  The band debuted the video for the album’s latest single, ‘Colossus‘ on Sept. 11.

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

The album’s full track listing is noted below.

Track List:
1. Utopian Lie
2. Bloodletter
3. Now
4. Enemy
5. genRx
6. Illuminatus
7. Hex Machine
8. Strange Day
9. Palegod
10. Colossus
11. Firestarter

More information on The Clay People’s upcoming live dates, its new album, single and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.claypeople.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/demonhero

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” It.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Despite Its Timeliness, ‘AmEx: The Chinese Exclusion Act’ Proves To Be A Rare Miss For PBS

Courtesy: PBS

Much has been said about immigration ever since Donald J. Trump was handed the White House in the 2016 presidential election.  From Muslims to Mexicans and other groups, Trump’s racism and xenophobia have led to so much talk about immigration and immigration law.  Of course, this is not the first time in America’s history that the nation has dealt with the plague of clearly racist immigration policy.  That is evidenced in PBS’ recently released documentary American Experience: The Chinese Exclusion Act.  Released on DVD June 19, this nearly three-hour documentary outlines the long-forgotten federal legislation that discriminated against generations of Chinese immigrants.  In the process, it also serves as an educational point, reminding audiences about the dangers of allowing racism and xenophobia to control politics and the nation’s social climate through a series of in-depth discussions on the law and its impacts.  That story forms a solid basis for the documentary.  While the story of the Chinese Exclusion Act is engaging, the story does suffer from one obvious negative, its collective pacing and transitions (or lack thereof).  This will be discussed later.  The program’s pricing rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  All things considered, American Experience: The Chinese Exclusion Act proves to be a rich, in-depth presentation that is certain to appeal to students and lovers of history and politics.

PBS’ recently released documentary American Experience: The Chinese Exclusion Act may have been released this past July, but due to the rhetoric currently being spewed by Donald J. Trump about the 14th Amendment, this documentary is proving to be just as timely as ever, and a presentation that is certain to have a wide appeal.  That is due in part to the story at the center of the doc.  The story at the center of the doc focuses on the 1882 act that clearly and blatantly discriminated against Chinese and Chinese-Americans.  As the story points out, it actually went through Congress not once, but twice before eventually being signed into law by then President Chester A. Arthur.  What is truly interesting in taking in the story is that it seems that Arthur did not even want to sign the act even in its second edition, ergo showing his reluctance to give into the racist and xenophobic views controlling so much of the nation even back then.  The story takes audiences from the late 1880s right up to the mid 1900’s showing the far-reaching impact of that discriminatory legislation even as the political landscape changed.  Audiences will be shocked to learn that even after the 14th Amendment was passed, Chinese and Chinese-Americans still suffered discrimination at the hands of Americans even after its passage, reminding audiences of what those racist views caused along the way.  In watching the news, it is obvious that Americans need that reminder now more than ever.  To that end, the story presented at the center of this doc proves to be an important presentation, and one that all audiences should certainly see.  Staying on that note, while the story is an important and intriguing presentation, the manner in which it was presented proves extremely problematic.

Audiences will note in watching American Experience: The Chinese Exclusion Act that this special edition of AE clocks in at a run time of almost three hours.  To be precise, its run time is listed at 160 minutes (that’s 2 hours and 40 minutes in layman’s terms).  The bonus segment “2012 Congressional Acknowledgement of the Chinese exclusion Act” – which is really the only worthwhile addition to the doc’s bonus features list – adds another 10 minutes to that run time, so push that time technically to 2 hours and 50 minutes.  Considering the doc’s slow pacing, that run time feels far longer as it moves so slow and because there is so much information.  What’s worse, the program has no clearly defined transition points at any given moment throughout that nearly three-hour run.  This combination of factors makes the doc’s overall construction extremely problematic to say the very least.  Even though it doesn’t break that three-hour mark, it still would have made more sense to either have the program broken up with those needed segment breaks, or even separated over the course of three days, with each segment being an hour in length.  Hopefully, Ric Burns (brother of famed documentarian  Ken Burns), who co-directed and co-wrote the documentary with Li-Shin Yu (and fellow co-writer Robin Espinola), will take all of this into account should he try his hand at another documentary.  That is because while the story presented here is interesting to say the least, the manner in which it was assembled dramatically detracts from its engagement.  Keeping this in mind, it makes AE: The Chinese Exclusion Act far from perfect, and lacking the impact that it could have had.  It makes the DVD’s average price point not too bad of a cost.

The DVD’s average price point is approximately $17.49.  That is found by averaging prices from PBS’ store, from Amazon, Target, Walmart and Barnes & Noble.  It is currently not listed at Best Buy or at Books-A-Million.  Considering that the program clocks in at nearly three hours, that actually is not too bad of a price, when compared to standard hour-long documentaries from PBS generally price from the company’s own store at about $25.00.  The list price on the company’s store for this DVD is $19.99.  To that end, it is not a program that will break the bank, though it may break some audiences’ engagement as noted previously due to its overall construction.  Keeping that in mind, for those willing to risk watching the doc, even despite its presentation problems, an average price point of $17.49 is actually not that bad.  That is even with the problems posed by the program’s pacing and general construction.  To that end, it is worth at least one watch, if viewers can make themselves sit through the whole thing.

PBS’ recently released special edition of its hit series American Experience, The Chinese Exclusion Act is an interesting presentation that is certain to appeal widely to the most devoted students and lovers of history and political science.  Even with that interest, it still proves to be a program that, despite an interesting and timely story, still suffers from one glaring negative, its collective pacing and construction.  Keeping that in mind, its average price point of less than $20 actually proves affordable and bearable.  It means even after sitting through such an overly lengthy and in-depth presentation, audiences will not ultimately be left feeling like they wasted their money.  That is the most important aspect to note here.  It is an interesting program that while not a waste of money, still could have been so much better, especially considering the reputation of American ExperienceAmerican Experience: The Chinese Exclusion Act is available now on DVD.  More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AmericanExperiencePBS

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Amon Amarth Fans New And Old Will Want To “Pursue” The Band’s New Doc/Live Package

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Over the course of the past 25 years, veteran metal band Amon Amarth has become one of the most respected and unique bands in the metal community.  That is because of its music and its live performances.  From its debut 1996 EP Sorrow Throughout The Nine Worlds to its most recent full-length studio recording, 2016’s Jomsviking, the band has stuck to what it knows, writing songs about Vikings.  It’s not the only band that rose to fame in taking this path, but has become even more famous than its contemporaries in taking that path.  The band’s live shows have been just as key in making the band so well-known and respected, as they have included the standard Viking ship on stage, and at times, even Viking battle re-enactments.  Of course while the band has become one of the metal community preeminent acts today, its road to worldwide stardom was not the easiest.  That story is presented in the documentary included in the band’s forthcoming documentary/live recording package, The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm, and it is a story that is certain to create a new appreciation for the band.  It is just one part of what the package – set for release Nov. 16 via Metal Blade Records – that makes it a worthwhile addition to any Amon Amarth fan’s collection.  The live material included in the package is just as important to note as the documentary.  It will be discussed a little later.  Its pricing rounds out its most important elements, and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm.  All things considered, they make the recording a collection that, again, will appeal especially to the band’s most devoted fan base.

Amon Amarth’s forthcoming documentary/live bundle The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is a strong new offering from the veteran metal outfit.  It is a work that is certain to appeal to the band’s most devout fan base, and even to new audiences who might be less familiar to the band.  That is due in no small part to the documentary included in the bundle.  The doc, which clocks in sans end credits at a little more than 90 minutes (1 hour, 39 minutes to be exact), serves as an interesting introduction to the band for those noted new audiences, and an equally welcome re-introduction to the band’s more seasoned fans.  It takes audiences from the band’s earliest days, struggling to balance their blue-collar lives with trying to make it in the music business to its current state atop the metal community.  That back story in itself is a sort of rags to riches story, so to speak because it presents the band as a group that worked its way to the top.  It was not given the world.  It had to work to earn it.  The band’s fron man, Johan Hegg, discusses that work ethic at one point late in the documentary, explaining the clear role that it has played in the band’s success.  Along with that, some audiences might be surprised to learn that there was a chance early on in the band’s career that it might not even have been around if not for the success of one record.  That story will be saved for those who have not yet had the pleasure of taking in this retrospective.  It is another one of those anecdotes that adds to the appreciation that the doc presents.  As if everything noted here is not enough, audiences will be just as interested to take in the discussions on the band’s decision to go forward with focusing so much on Viking mythology in its albums despite the apparent belief of some that it has to certain groups.  There is an equally interesting discussion that goes along with that talk, in which the band talks frankly about steering away from the standard death metal fare, and why it opted not to go that route.  That discussion is one of the most powerful, as brief as it might be.  It joins with everything else presented over the course of the documentary’s run to make this story one that is certain to make audiences new and old see Amon Amarth in a whole new and certainly positive light.  To that end, the documentary featured in this new presentation is a strong addition to the whole of the presentation, and is not the only positive to the set.  The live material included in the set adds even more enjoyment to the package.

The live material featured in The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is so important because of everything that goes into that presentation, from the set lists to the band’s performance thereof and the production values.  The two set lists – taken from the band’s Aug. 16 & 17 Summer Breeze Festival performance – pull songs from nine of the band’s current 10 albums.  In other words, it is safe to say that this is a career-spanning two-night performance.  The only album not represented in the recording is the band’s 2001 album The Crusher.  The band’s debut 1996 EP Sorrow Through The Nine Worlds also is not included in the set list, but the band can easily be forgiven for that.  Over the course of the 30-song set, the band pulls most liberally from its 2006 album With Oden on Our Side and its follow-up, 2008’s Twilight of the Thunder God, with each album getting six nods.  Jomsviking is next with five songs, and then Versus The World (2002) with four, Deceiver of the Gods (2013) with three, Surtur Rising (2011) and Fate of Norns (2014) with two each and then The Avenger (1999) and Once Sent From The Golden Hall (1998) each with just one song representing them respectively.  To say that the set list is extensive would be an understatement.  As with the documentary, such an extensive set list serves as a solid representation of Amon Amarth’s career to this point.  Simply put, this makes the set list another excellent introduction to the band for fans less familiar with the band’s work and an equally welcome presentation for those more seasoned audiences.

The extensive set list featured in the band’s Summer Breeze 2017 performance is just part of what makes that performance welcome.  The band’s performance thereof adds even more of a positive touch to the recording.  From start to finish, the band gives its all for its audiences on both nights of the festival, letting the music do the majority of the talking.  It serves to display that work ethic that Hegg talked about in the documentary, making for even more appreciation for the band.  The same can be said of Hegg’s interactions with the audience between songs.  From the casual discussion about the band donating its now famous on-stage Viking boat to Hegg’s encouragement of the audience to do its own “Viking row” to the general mid-performance banter, Hegg proves to be an entertaining front man.  His band mates meanwhile do just as much to entertain audiences throughout each song, that they are giving 110 percent and more.  It’s just one more way in which the live material stands out so strongly here.

The recording’s production values are just as worth noting in examining the recording as the band’s performance and the recording’s set list.  The work that went into balancing the sound and capturing the concert both during and in post production paid off, giving audiences at home the best seat in the house.  The sound is everything that a home viewer should expect from audio mixing while the camera work offers its own entertainment.  Audiences are taken on stage, into the crowd and high above throughout.  What’s interesting to note here is that the shooting actually at times has a little bit of a guerilla look.  Luckily that feeling is not overpowering at any given moment.  Rather, it is just enough that when coupled with the more spit-shined shots, the combination of those clearer and more raw shots makes for its own interesting experience.  The end result of the attention paid to every detail makes this performance just as enjoyable for its production work as for the set list and the band’s performance.  In other words, everyone behind the boards and cameras is fully deserving of praise for their work.  That effort and time was well worth it.  Now keeping all of this in mind, the last important element of this set to note is its pricing.

Looking through the nation’s biggest retailers – Target, Best Buy, Amazon and Walmart —  finding this new recording was a bit of a craps shoot. That is both because The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is available on so many platforms and because right now, some of the retailers do not have it listed.  Target has the vinyl presentation listed while Best Buy has three of its separate platforms listed at coordinated prices.  The problem is that Best Buy’s listings do not specify which price is with which platform.  Walmart does not even list the recording, and Amazon lists the pricing for the CD/2 DVD and Blu-ray platforms.  Of course, Metal Blade lists each of the platforms and their respective prices.  Keeping all of this in mind, and that most people will likely buy either the Blu-ray or CD/2DVD set, finding an average price point at the time of this posting is next to impossible.  However, comparing Amazon’s current pricing to that of Metal Blade, it can be said that even with shipping, fans will find it less expensive to purchase the Blu-ray and the CD/2DVD set direct from Metal Blade’s official store.  That is always open to change, of course, but for now Metal Blade’s official store is offering a more affordable price for each platform, even with shipping & handling.  When this is considered along with everything else noted here, it goes without saying that The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is a relatively affordable presentation that audiences new and old alike will happily welcome in their own music libraries.

Amon Amarth’s forthcoming documentary/live recording bundle The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is a strong new offering from the veteran Swedish metal band.  It is a presentation that is certain to appeal to the band’s most seasoned fans just as much as it will to those less familiar with the band and its body of work.  That is proven in part through the extensive documentary that takes audiences through the band’s story from its earliest days pre-Amon Amarth up to its current point.  It paints a rich picture of the band’s past, present and future.  The equally extensive 30-song set does just as much to illustrate the band’s history.  The whole thing proves relatively affordable especially considering the amount and type of content presented in the Blu-ray platform.  Keeping all of this in mind, it can be said with ease that The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is a work whose appeal is far-reaching, and in turn proves to be one of this year’s top new live Blu-rays and DVDs.  It will be available Nov. 16 via Metal Blade Records, and can be pre-ordered now via Metal Blade’s online store.  More information on The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is available now online along with all of Amon Amarth’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.amonamarth.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/amonamarth

Twitter: http://twitter.com/amonamarthband

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Anthem of the Peaceful Army’ Proves Greta Van Fleet Deserves More Credit Than It Gets

Courtesy: Lava/Republic Records

When Greta Van Fleet released its sophomore EP From The Fires last year, the upstart Michigan-based, very quickly made quite the impact on audiences.  Audiences either loved the band or hated the group.  That was due to the band’s classic rock influenced sound, which showed very blatant influence from Led Zeppelin.  As a matter of fact, that influence was so blatant that the band was called the second coming of Led Zeppelin by many, both in positive and negative fashion.  The release of its debut full-length studio recording Anthem of the Peaceful Army Oct. 19 has only served to widen that gap, with just as many – if not more – people taking either one side in the debate on the up-and-coming band or another.  While the band’s debut full-length album (and its third overall studio recording) does present even more cause for comparison to Led Zeppelin, a thorough listen through the album also shows that the band deserves more credit than its critics have given the group.  That is evident right from the album’s outset in its opener, ‘Age of Man.’ It will be discussed shortly.  ‘You’re The One,’ which comes just past the record’s midway point, is another way in which the band proves in this record that it deserves more support than it gets.  ‘Brave New World,’ which comes even later in the record’s 45-minute run time, is one more way in which this record proves Greta Van Fleet deserves more support than it gets.  Each song, in its own way, proves that Greta Van Fleet is not quite the band that so many people think.  When they are joined with the rest of Anthem of the Peaceful Army, the whole of the record paints a picture of a band that has great potential for growth.  Keeping that in mind, it proves to be a record that shows Greta Van Fleet as a group that deserves more credit than it gets from so many listeners.

Greta Van Fleet’s debut album (and third overall studio recording) is a laudable new offering from the neo-classic rock outfit from Michigan.  That is because the album in whole paints a picture somewhat different from that painted by the singles that have so far been released from the record and its predecessors.  The album’s opener, ‘Age of Man’ is just one of the songs included in the album that serves to support that statement.  Musically speaking, the song bears more of an influence from Rush and other similar classic rock acts of that ilk than to Led Zeppelin.  Of course that is just this critic’s own interpretation.  That is evident through the combination of front man Joshua Kiszka’s vocal delivery style and the work of his band mates – Jacob Kiszka (guitar), Samuel Kiszka (bass/keyboards) and Daniel Wagner (drums/percussion) – throughout the song.  It displays clearly, the band attempting to use those influences to establish its own identity.  It succeeds in attempting to achieve that goal, too.  Keeping this in mind, the song’s lyrical content does just as much to help the song to stand out.  Joshua Kiszka sings here, “In an age of darkness, light appears/And it wards away the ancient fears/March to the anthem of the heart/to a brand new day/A brand new start.”  He goes on to sing, “To wonder lands of ice and snow/In the desert heat where nothing grows/A tree of life in rain and sun/To reach the sky, it’s just begun.”  As the song transitions into its chorus, he sings, “And as we came into the clear/To find ourselves where we are here/Who is the wiser to help us steer/And will we know when the end is near?”  What makes all of this significant here in the first half of the song is that these lyrics seem to be a metaphorical way of addressing the world’s current situation.  It seems to try to remind listeners that there is positive in the world’s negative, yet seems to ask through the chorus, who will help lead us to that positive.  Again, this is all just the interpretation of this critic in particular.  It should not be taken as gospel.  Though in the song’s third verse, Kiszka continues, “Beauty lies in every soul/The more you love, the more you know/They pass the torch and it still burns/One children, then it’s now our turn.”  It’s as if Kiszka is telling listeners again, that that positive is there, but it’s up to us to make it exist.  Once again, this is just this critic’s interpretation, and could likely be completely off base, so it should not be considered the only interpretation.  When this seeming message of positivity is considered along with the almost contemplative vibe of the song’s musical arrangement, that seeming message tends to make more sense even if it is not the correct interpretation.  Keeping this in mind, the song proves to be a strong start for Greta Van Fleet in its latest recording, and just one example of why the band is deserving of more than the Led Zeppelin comparisons that it has constantly received.  It is a song that infuses a variety of musical influences in its arrangement, and that presents a seemingly deep lyrical theme with wording that is certain to generate plenty of discussions.  While the impact of this song cannot be ignored, it is just one of the songs included in the album that proves Greta Van Fleet deserves more credit than it has gotten and gets.  ‘You’re The One’ is another song that shows this band is not just another Led Zeppelin ripoff.

‘You’re The One’ has been likened by some to Led Zeppelin’s ‘Your Time Is Gonna Come,’ and while a close listen to both songs does reveal a certain similarity, it can just as easily be argued that they are dissimilar, too in their musical arrangements.  It’s one more example of Greta Van Fleet using another band’s influences to try to establish its own identity.  Yes, the use of the organ and the old-school sound of the drums, and even the guitar line show similarities, but those similarities are not as direct as in other equally rare moments in this record.  To that end, the song shows yet again that even despite the similarities between the two songs, the band does deserve at least some credit as it shows the band is not trying to blatantly rip off its influences.  The song’s lyrical content adds even more to its interest.  The content shows the song is a standard love song, with Kiszka singing, “Babe, ain’t no denyin’/That I got you in my head/Girl, I’d be lyin’/If you stood yourself and said/You’re the one I want/You’re the one I need/You’re the one I had/So come back to me.”  This is the exact opposite, lyrically, of ‘Your Time Is Gonna Come,’ which is a song about a breakup sung from the standpoint of someone telling another that said person’s time will come.  GVF’s song may be similar to Led Zeppelin’s work stylistically, and similar lyrically in that the two songs both center on relationships, but GVF’s work is about a man who wants a woman, not someone breaking up with another person.  To that end, here we have another example of why Greta Van Fleet deserves more credit than it gets.  With this in mind, there is still at the very least one more example in this song, of why Greta Van Fleet deserves more credit than it gets. It comes in the form of ‘Brave New World,’ which comes late in the album’s run.

‘Brave New World’ stands out because as with the previously discussed songs, this work’s musical arrangement is another example of Greta Van Fleet clearly trying to establish its own identity.  Instead of the Zeppelin influences that people love to make so much with the band, this song’s arrangement presents more influence from the likes of Rush and Ritchie Blackmore among others with its slow yet bombastic guitar and drums.  Kiszka’s own vocal delivery conjures thoughts of a combined Robert Plant and Geddy Lee, while the bass work adds to the song’s heaviness.  It honestly could be considered the album’s most notable work because it so clearly shows the potential that the band has, despite what so many people would have people think.  The song’s lyrical content shows just as much as its musical arrangement, the potential that the band has.  Looking through the song’s lyrical content, it comes across as a social commentary of sorts, again presented through metaphors.  This is inferred as Kiszka sings, “As to the drifters of the high rift plains/They can see the ashes and the acid rain/It turns to dust before their very eyes/And it chokes to death within the smog it lies.”  This comes across as a statement of what has become of the world.  That seeming statement continues as he sings in the song’s chorus, “Take one look at your skies/And in the darkness realize/Kill, fear, the power of lies/For we will not be hypnotized.”  This comes across as Kiszka presenting a defiant message that the world will overcome what has caused it to become what it has become.  The seeming social commentary continues as Kiszka sings, “Turn back the clock within your glass of sand/To a time of love within this blackened land/A silent child climbs a mound of char/Where he plants a seed that grows beyond the stars.”  This comes across as Kiszka telling people to remember that there was a better day, and that it is possible to get back to that better time, despite everything that has happened.  Once again, this is all just one critic’s interpretation.  Even with that in mind, it goes without saying that this lyrical content is presented in a smart fashion, even being presented through metaphorical language.  It still seems to make a statement that at least seems to match, and is deep, regardless.  That contemplative nature of the song’s lyrical content couples with its equally thoughtful musical arrangement to make the song stand out even more.  When this is considered along with the presentation of ‘You’re The One,’ ‘Age of Man’ and the rest of the album’s featured offerings, the whole exhibits Greta Van Fleet as a band that despite its comparisons to Led Zeppelin, deserves far more credit than it deserves.

Greta Van Fleet is currently one of the biggest names in the rock realm today.  That is due to a handful of singles that have lent themselves to comparisons to the one and only Led Zeppelin.  At the same time, those singles have proven to be anything but beneficial for the band.  Rather, they have caused quite a division among audiences.  Songs such as ‘Brave New World,’ ‘You’re The One’ and ‘Age of Man’ show a side of Greta Van Fleet that the band’s singles have not and do not present.  They show a band striving to use its influences to develop its own identity and that clearly has potential.  Keeping this in mind, the band’s debut album (and third overall studio recording) Anthem of the Peaceful Army proves to be a positive new effort from the up-and-coming neo-classic rock band, and one that shows the band deserves more credit than it receives.  It is available now.  More information on Anthem of the Peaceful Army is available online now along with all of Greta Van Fleet’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

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