Rock and roll music has gone through a vast amount of changes over the decades, with roots that trace back beyond early American Blues all the way to classical music. Despite the various sounds rock has had throughout its very long history, the commonly accepted era that we think of as “classic rock” is that span from the mid 60’s to the early 80’s. Although technically the word classic has more to do with age, meaning that each passing year more bands fall into that category, truth is when someone says “Classic Rock” you probably think Led Zeppelin not Nirvana.
In recent years there has been a wide mix of sub-genres to choose from in the world of rock music, but one of the most polarising seems to be the new rock bands that sound like classic rock bands. For me it began when I heard the song “I Don’t Know” by the Sheepdogs and I thought to myself, “damn how is this the first time I’m hearing this song?” (thinking that it had been around for years). Once I found out that it was a new song by a new band I got very excited for this new rock music that was raw and not over produced. One of the even more recent bands to jump in on this trend is Greta Van Fleet, who give me the feeling as I listen to them that I’m hearing brand new Led Zeppelin music and I love it!
Not everyone shares my enthusiasm for this brand of new throwback rock though. The hard part of sounding like you’re from the past is that you run the risk of sounding like you’re ripping off older bands. Yes the Sheepdogs sound very similar to The Allman Brothers Band, yes Greta Van Fleet has an uncanny resemblance to Led Zeppelin, but is that such a bad thing? I understand that for some listeners they might feel as though these are just copycat bands, but for someone like myself it feels more experiencing the bands that were around before I was born.
Now while I do enjoy some of these bands that are soundalikes of older bands, I also believe that there is limited room in rock music for that style. I would love for the raw old school sounding music style to continue, but if it is going be the future of rock and roll than we do need to get away from having a new soundalike band coming out every year. I am eagerly waiting for the day when I hear a new group that sounds like they could have been pulled right out of the 70’s, however does not bare a direct resemblance to another band from that time. Until then though, at least we have this…..
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