Has it REALLY been 25 years? Well, that is indeed how long it has been since the Dan Reed Network released their celebrated Bruce Fairbairn produced album The Heat in 1991, which should have taken them to superstardom but ultimately saw the band get disillusioned with the music industry and disband until a handful of reunion concerts since 2012 prompted them to get back into the studio for what we now have in front of us, Fight Another Day. It's no surprise that this new plater of melodic rock/AOR/funk/pop/hard rock finds itself on Frontiers Records, the powerhouse Italian label that have scooped up many major '70s & '80s acts who still have plenty of new music for their dedicated fans. The 2016 version of the band includes Dan Reed (Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitars, Piano, Synth Programming, Moog Bass), Brion James (Vocals, Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Synth Guitars, Synth Programming, Drum Programming), Dan Pred (Drums, Percussion, Videographer), Melvin Brannon II (Vocals, Bass, Acoustic Bass, Electric Contra Bass, Synth Bass), and Rob Daiker ( Vocals, Keyboards, Synth Programming, Drum Programming).
With soaring pop hooks, plenty of synths, and a mix of hard rock & funk grooves, the format hasn't changed all that much for the Dan Reed Network in 25 years, but that's surely going to make a lot of people very happy. With 13 tracks, there's a lot to take in here, but instantly accessible & memorable fare like "Champion", "Divided", "Give It Love", "Eye of the Storm", and "The Brave" grab you from first listen and inject your brain with melodies that stick like a computer virus. "Stand Tall" reminds a bit of Genesis' more pop based '80s material, loaded with bubbling synths, plenty of groove, and layers of vocal harmonies, easily one of the most engaging tracks here. As mentioned, there are a lot of songs on Fight Another Day, and probably a few too many soft ballads, but overall much of the album succeeds thanks to an overabundance of memorable hooks and crisp arrangements. It's not heavy by any means, or barely a blip on the prog meter, but as far as '80s styled pop, melodic rock, and AOR, this return from the Dan Reed Network is certainly a keeper. And, that cover art is certainly pretty cool too!
06.Give It Love
07.B There With U
08.Save The World
09_Eye of the Storm