After seeing Dan Reed Network play a headlining set at Cambridge Rock Festival back in July, a set which I will say reignited my admiration for the band. I have been very much looking forward to hearing the 'Origins' album since they announced its impending arrival. One thought I did have whilst watching the guys play was that their early recordings really didn't capture that energy that was pouring out of them on stage. But this has definitely changed with this record!
Now whether this is because the album was recorded in front of a live audience of fans which gives the album a live feel, maybe it's because the audience are involved on gang vocals during the choruses of some of Dan Reed Networks most loved songs, maybe the band were feeding off that energy and love with the fans being in the building. I suspect it is a perfect combination of all of the above and much much more. One thing is for sure to simply dismiss this record as just re-recordings and a couple of new tracks is both lazy and wrong. These guys are very much riding a high right now, the tour last year with Extreme showed just how much everyone in the UK have missed these guys, their previous album 'Fight Another Day' was massively well received, and with an upcoming UK November tour, with support from Hollowstar and Mason Hill. These guys are not just a reunion for nostalgia but a band that is still delivering the goods.
Opening track 'Fade To Light' was the first track to be released from the record. It is a great track and a perfect reflection as to the overall vibe of the record. With the guys playing on the money, gang vocals from the fans and a blistering guitar solo from Brion James this a track to listen to again and again. You can feel just how well this one is going to go down live.
'Right In Front Of Me' is a definite favourite of mine. As a bass player myself I am a huge fan of Melvin Brannon II and his playing. With this track he is on fire with a bass line so full of soul and funk it would make Nile Rogers jealous. This will have a live crowd shaking their hips and on their feet without a doubt.
'Shameless' brings the temp down a notch but looses none of Dan Reed Networks collective soul. You can hear the reflection in Dan Reeds tone as he sings about the bond between two people, whether that bond is romantic or simply platonic is your judgement but that emotion simply pours through this track.
'One Last Time' brings back that funk and groove that we all fell in love with from Dan Reed Network. One of the joys to me of this band is that there are so many elements to them (funk, hard rock, soul, Motown, reggae) and this song bring out those elements that are so complimentary and I love it.
The next four tracks on the record, 'Ritual', 'Forgot To Make Her Mine', 'Let It Go' and 'Rainbow Child', some would call re-recordings, but, to me this is how these songs should have been laid down in the first place. 'Ritual' with its audience participation gang vocals gave a huge boost to this much loved track and in my opinion has never sounded better.
'Forgot To Make Her Mine' is a track I have always loved but never has it sounded so good (except live), so full of soul, funk and swagger. Once again I am reaching for that bass guitar of mine. 'Let It Go' is a firm fan favourite and a highlight of any Dan Reed Network set. Not for the funk that normally you may think but the emotion of this track that has touched the hearts of many fans and means a lot to a lot of people. This reworking has Brion James injecting some serious soul into the track and giving it a much more uplifting vibe.
'Rainbow Child' is another favourite of mine swell as of a lot of Dan Reed Network fans and you can hear this enthusiasm for the song from both the band and their audience who contribute to the choir in the choruses. The only thing I don't like about this record is that I wasn't there to witness the song writing process and be a part of it like the other fans on this record are.
Do not miss Dan Reed Network on their upcoming UK tour with Hollowstar and Mason Hill in support, you can check out the dates below or at:
Watch the official music video for “Fade To Light” here - https://youtu.be/eJQogH3ZfRg
Dan Reed Network are:
Dan Reed - Lead Vocals
Brion James - Guitar
Melvin Brannon II - Bass
Dan Pred - Drums
Rob Daiker - Keyboards
Find them at:
DAN REED NETWORK “ORIGINS” NOVEMBER 2018 UK TOUR
Special Guests MASON HILL & HOLLOWSTAR
Bilston, The Robin 2 Wednesday 7 November
Newcastle, Riverside Thursday 8 November
Inverness, Monsterfest, The Ironworks Saturday 10 November
Glasgow, The Garage Tuesday 13 November
Wakefield, Warehouse 23 Wednesday 14 November
Pontypridd, Muni Arts Centre Friday 16 November
Chester, The Live Rooms Saturday 17 November
Stoke, Eleven Wednesday 21 November
Derby, The Venue Thursday 22 November
London, 229 Venue – Album Launch Party Friday 23 November
Manchester, Club Academy Sunday 25th November