The return of Rock N’ Roll: new bands create familiar 70’s sounds

by Josh Tidd and Vince Prouty

Many people today miss the sound of old rock and roll from the sixties and seventies, but modern bands often recreate this vintage sound. Here are some bands to listen to if you are interested in finding old, gritty, and distorted rock and roll.

Led Zeppelin/Greta Van Fleet

If you’re interested in the hard guitar driven rock of Led Zeppelin, then you would most likely enjoy listening to Greta Van Fleet. Greta Van Fleet is a group of young musicians who hail from Michigan consisting of brothers Josh, Jake and Samuel Kiszka and friend Daniel Wagner. Most people who listen to this band will tell you they sound identical to Zeppelin. Rumor has it, Josh Kiszka accidentally mimicked Robert Plant’s unique scream in an attempt to compete with the volume of the rest of the band. Many people say the band sounds too much like Zeppelin to the point where they’re called “too mainstream”.

Even Robert Plant (vocalist for Led Zeppelin) said, “He borrowed his voice from somebody I know very well” in a remark about his opinion on GVF. Bassist and keyboardist Sam Kiszka captures a very identical John Paul Jones’ bass playing style of making simplistic fills and riffs that demonstrate the possibilities of his musicianship.

Greta Van Fleet has captured the timeless sounds made by Jimmy Page’s distorted guitar, John Bonham’s incredible drum fills, John Paul Jones’ rather simplistic but effective bass lines and management of the keyboard and last but not least the impeccable voice of Robert Plant.

Pink Floyd/Radiohead

If you are interested in Pink Floyd’s soft but unique psychedelic sound, you would enjoy the band Radiohead. They fuse slow acoustic rock with electric guitar solos just like Pink Floyd did. Vocalist Thom Yorke has a soft, soothing voice similar to Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters. Water’s voice can be heard on tracks like “Another Brick In The Wall (Part I)” or on “Brain Damage” and “Eclipse.” Radiohead’s song “No Surprises” mimics Floyd’s soft, acoustic but psychedelic sound from their early years when they had Syd Barrett as a guitarist and songwriter. Radiohead also manages to capture the abstractness of Floyd through the titles of albums. Although Radiohead isn’t a new band, they are still producing music with their last album “A Moon Shaped Pool” coming out in 2016.


If you are interested in Queen’s sound with the strong, multi-octave vocals of Freddie Mercury and the unique tone of Brian May, you would most likely enjoy Muse. A lot of Muse’s earlier albums can compare to Mercury’s unique vocals and style that he used throughout his music career with Queen. Vocalist Matt Bellamy of Muse draws on Mercury’s theatrical style on songs such as “Feeling Good” and “Uprising.”

The Beatles/The Sheepdogs

If you’re more interested in The Beatles’ softer rock sound with acoustic instruments (see Rubber Soul and Revolver) then you should consider listening to The Sheepdogs. The Sheepdogs are a vintage sounding classic rock band formed in 2006. The vocalist captures an identical sound to Paul McCartney of The Beatles. The Sheepdogs’ song “Please Don’t Lead Me On” sounds identical to The Beatles’ “Octopus Garden.” It starts with a laid back style but then picks up with electric guitars and a boost in tempo using all the instruments to make a full sound.

The Grateful Dead/Phish

If you are a fan of The Grateful Dead, then you would enjoy listening to Phish. Phish is not new to the music industry, but they are still very relevant in today’s music. They continue to produce music and play concerts.  Formed in Vermont in 1983, they first produced their self-titled, self-produced album (also known as “The White Tape”) in 1986 on cassette. They are known for their soft, extended solos and improvisation just like The Grateful Dead. They manage to recreate the sound of The Grateful Dead and fuse it into a sound of their own, by creating super long jam sessions that sound just different enough from the Grateful Dead.

All of those rock bands can be listened to on Spotify or on YouTube. If you like the sound of old rock music then it is definitely worth giving these bands a listen.