Dan Reed Network Fight Another Day cd review.
June the 3rd on Frontiers Records Srl sees the return after 25 years of Dan Reed Network with the release of Fight Another Day the follow up to 1991's The Heat which was their most successful album in the UK.
After a hiatus of 19 years the New Years Eve one off show of 2012 has seen a welcome return of one of melodic rock's finest bands that has steadily grown with selected live shows over the last few years before this their first new material released in a quarter of a century.
I was fortunate to catch the band live in March in a small club in Swindon and from the huge smiles on stage and the most incredible on stage chemistry it is clear that Dan Reed Network are back and one listen to Fight Another Day only confirms that.
All the trademark Dan Reed Network features are here in abundance with rock,funk,soul all meshed together with wonderful vocal melodies and a production that allows every performance room to breathe.
I have been fortunate to live with this cd for a month and every play picks up a new vocal nuance,a vocal melody line,a keyboard passage,a rock hard drum rhythm,a bass line and a guitar melody or run that adds to your listening pleasure.
All of the band play their part with the band chemistry their for all to see from Dan Pred's drum passages holding it all together,Melvin Brannon II's bass acrobatics,Brion James's guitar at times in your face and other times delicate melodies and Rob Daiker's keyboards adding depth and filling in all the gaps where required.
Dan Reed of course sounds amazing with vocal melodies and tone and being a wonderful song writer he draws from his life experiences.
Opener Divided has been played at the show's at the back end of last year and is a statement of intent with a big guitar riff and thunderous drum rhythm and bass work with Rob's keyboards taking more of a back seat to Brion's guitar riff.
A big chorus built for the live show's and it will have you singing the chorus repeatedly with Dan sounding fantastic.Some vocal ad libbing after the mid song breakdown adds to the tone.
The Brave has a heavy bass line alongside Dan Pred's drum rhythm with the guitar taking a back seat as Rob's keyboard riff takes a more prominent role.Plenty of eh oh ee oh ee oh ee oh vocal adds on giving audience participation to be guaranteed in the live shows.
Infected is a funky little number with Melvin's bass work leading the way through the first verse before guitar's cut in at the chorus and take it up a notch.Brion's picked guitar solo is superb really telling a story and very melodic with bass and drum's driving the song on.Love the outro with Brion soloing behind Dan's vocal chorus melody.
Champion is in my opinion a real block buster of a track showing off Dan Reed Network at their best.A slight slowing in pace but no loss of power with Dan Pred's drum rhythm underpinning it all alongside Melvin's bass line.Rob's keyboard riff dips in and out and the chorus gives the album title Fight Another Day and Brions guitar solo reeks class and emotion and melodic intent.Can't wait to see this one played live.Quite simply 25 years in the making.Superb.
A short intro piece Ignition leads into Give It Love which starts on Dan Pred's near tribal drum pattern and Brion's heavy guitar riff.Dips a little in the verse before building back up again in the pre chorus and another big chorus that as it ends the drum rhythm hits harder as it does at the start of the song.Short sharp picked guitar solo alongside Dan's vocal line in the mid song breakdown. Begging to be played live.I hope.
B There With U is a mid tempo ballad with Dan's vocal line centre stage with keys in the background and Brion's picked riff all falling in line behind the vocal line.A slight lift in pace on the chorus.
Save The World sees Melvin's funked up bass line centre stage on a song you can imagine the band having real fun in the live setting and going off on a real tangent.
Eye Of The Storm has a real groove to it with a guitar riff intro that goes in the first verse and leaves Rob's keyboard fighting alongside the rhythm team's dynamics.The guitar returns for the chorus although still under stated and in the mid section part some wonderful melodic guitar textures from Brion that dip in and out.
Reunite and are we glad they did.An anthem for now and I am sure will be a live favourite.Dan's vocal is centre stage as he calls out to people across the world to reunite.
After the first chorus it goes up a notch and you an imagine crowds bouncing in the chorus.More Brions guitar textures in the outro as Dan keeps the emotion in the vocal going right to the last note.
Heaven is a chilled out ballad with Dan's vocal melody on the chorus excelling and Brion again adds guitar melody lines and soloing behind Dan's vocal after the chorus.
Sharp Turn sees a blend of funk and heavy rock as Rob's keyboard underpins the song and Brion's guitar builds and builds to a crescendo after the chorus.Love the band dynamics with everyone playing their part.
Stand Tall is a fabulous album closer with the keyboard early riff reminiscent of past days.Dips out in the first verse and it all builds to a wonderful chorus with Dan wanting to catch you and break your fall stand tall.Powerful and understated vocal line all at the same time.Brion again shows his class with a fiery melodic picked solo on another song needing to be played live.
The world and the music business has seen so many changes in the 25 years since Dan Reed Network released new material.
We should all be thankful that class is permanent and with Fight Another Day they return to reclaim their crown at the top of the melodic rock tree.
Photo Credit: Anders Gustavsson III
Dan Reed Network return to European stages in June for the Fight Another Day cd release tour.