Let’s Hear It For The King

The Dan Reed Network

Drakkar Records, 2022


REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


One of my few brushes with greatness on Twitter was when the official King’s X account liked one of my tweets. It was an old joke I made up that goes something like this:

“Did you hear about the new drinking game? Turn on alternative rock radio and drink every time someone rips off King’s X or Faith No More.”

More and more, I think the same joke could apply somewhat to the Dan Reed Network. Formed in Portland, Oregon, in 1984, they had two albums (their eponymous debut and The Heat) in 1988 and 1991 that were exhilarating mixes of funk, rock, a little white-boy soul, and a touch of metal; the first album produced one Billboard hit, “Ritual,” as well as an incendiary video for “Get To You.” Never big in the states, due mostly to Mercury Records’ utter inability to understand how to promote them, they are and have remained big in Europe.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Reed himself has never stopped making music, living in multiple countries and making multiple solo albums. However, the Network returned to recording in 2016, and has released their latest album, Let’s Hear It For The King, on indie Drakkar Records.

The Network is a veritable goulash of influences (Reed is of German, Hawaiian, and Native American ancestry, James is of Jamaican ancestry, Brannon is African-American, and Pred is Jewish) and musical connections (current keyboardist Rob Daiker has worked with Katy Perry and the Fame Riot). In general, though, the synthesis works, aided by Reed’s politically, socially, and religiously incisive lyrics. They don’t seem to have lost a step on King; if anything, the sound is slightly funkier, the criticism in their music a touch more scathing. Reed walks the walk; he lives in Prague now, having left the US because of opposition to its policies.

But, you ask, is this album any damned good? In a word, yes. Let’s Hear It For The King is a bitter look at fame and its price; “Homegrown” a paean to growing it yourself, whether it’s weed or love; and “I See Angels” is a surprisingly gentle song about how we are often angels to each other. (“We are unsure angels exist, so we must be angels to each other”—I forget who said it). And then—“Stumble.” Acid, funny, funky as hell, “Stumble” is about religion and how foolish we all can be about it.

I’m not overly fond of “Starlight”; the lyrics seem trite and the production lags behind the rest of the CD. But on the whole, Let’s Hear It For The King is tight, funky, thought-provoking, and rocks relatively hard. Sounds like a recipe for success to me.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2022 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Drakkar Records, and is used for informational purposes only.