The first time I heard them, I thought it was a Zeppelin outtake that I hadn’t heard before. The second time I heard a new song from them, I thought it was a new-to-me Zeppelin outtake again. The third time, I figured it was Greta Van Fleet. That guy’s voice is reedy compared to Robert Plant’s, and it’s easy to pick out now.
It’s not a bad stylistic copy, but if anyone has less claim to being offended by someone copying them wholesale than Led Zeppelin, it might be Greta Van Fleet. Then again, they’re not really the first to do that. Mudhoney sounded like they had stumbled onto a catalog of the best Blue Cheer songs that you never heard. Heck, I’m sort of in the process of ripping off The Jesus and Mary Chain in one song I’m writing now.
But on the other hand, if they have any longevity with their current act as it is, then it will mean that folks have forgotten Led Zeppelin. That wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it would be weird. Zeppelin was certainly better at assembling a song than Greta Van Fleet is, and the latter really does only do one aspect of the former’s style. I haven’t heard anything in the style of “Immigrant Song”, for instance. It’s all in the style of “Traveling Riverside Blues”.
But when you look over here at your foot, you realize that’s kind of an unfair comparison. Greta Van Fleet is probably a band who came to their style by figuring out what they could pull off in a live setting, growing up brothers or not. Led Zeppelin was assembled by John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page, two experienced session musicians who had played on a ton of hits between them. Seriously - Sunshine Superman has them on guitar and bass. JPJ had also been trained in music, and been doing arrangements - the strings on “She’s a Rainbow” are his. So, coming up with a way of selling songs in the style of “Traveling Riverside Blues” is a pretty good accomplishment, even if you’re not Led Zeppelin.
But after watching GVF’s videos, I have to remark that they dress worse than the guys in Zeppelin, and they had the excuse of being filthy rich in the 70’s.