At their best you could easily mistake this for a lost Zeppelin album at first listen. This is where the divide comes, they never really do anything to separate themselves from their forefathers. It’s painfully evident in songs like The Cold Wind where you get the feeling that these guys have spent a majority of their childhoods watching nothing but youtube videos of Zeppelin performances and mimicking them in the mirror until they perfected the inflections and tunings. I mean they’re a really good Zeppelin cover band, but at the end of the day that’s all they really are. It honestly depends on how you approach the band, either you see look at them as a Zeppelin cover band doing their best to nail the feel and sound or you see them as a Zeppelin cover band that brings nothing to the table and is simply a soulless method of making money.
I find myself somewhere in the middle personally. I love Led Zeppelin, they’re one of my favorite bands and their impact on rock music can still be heard today, that said I quite enjoy some of these songs it feels like a bit of time travel. The problem I have is that this sound, trying to mimic and copy the greats of the 60’s,70’s, and 80’s has been done before by bands like Foxy Shazam! and The Darkness. Both bands that while clearly influenced by that era still managed to bring their own flavor to the table. That’s where Greta Van Fleet falls, this is a gimmick, a schtick, something that can’t be maintained. Honestly these songs while solid imitations are about as memorable as that guy I met that one time who’s face I can’t remember and who’s name I can’t place. You’ll forget them as soon as the next Jimmy Page guitar solo hits. I’m not cynical enough to believe that the whole thing is a ploy to game the algorithms of streaming services, unless they have a really good agent, publicist, or someone on their team who actually knows what they’re doing I doubt this band even would understand that concept, it just seems more likely they unexpectedly exposed inherent issue with algorithms and streaming music as a whole.
Overall Anthem Of The Peaceful Army does it’s best Led Zeppelin imitation for better or worse. If you’re a Zeppelin fan honestly I feel like it’s worth a listen at least once. At its worst it’s boring, nonsensical, and forgettable and at its best it’s really like a reincarnation. That said, without the current way the music industry works they never would have made it as far as they have, it’s clearly a case of inflated popularity. Hopefully the band (or whichever mysterious shadow figure is behind them) actually realized this and tries to branch out and bring some sort of originality to their sound.