Album review: ENUFF Z’NUFF – Clowns Lounge

Frontiers [Release date 02.12.16]

Been awhile since any new material from Enuff Z’Nuff, 2010′s ‘Dissonance’ to be precise. This is not quite a new release, as the songs on here were first written back in 1988-89 by Chip Z’Nuff and original vocalist Donnie Vie. The album’s creation is best summed up by Chip Z’Nuff who said, ‘It is basically an archival record featuring original band and Enuff Z’nuff as it is today’. So along with the current line-up of Chip Z’nuff (vocals/bass/guitar), Tony Fennell (guitar/vocals), Tory Stoffregen (lead guitar/vocals) and Erik Donner (drums/vocals) – original recorded parts from the 1988-89 sessions feature Donnie Vie, Derek Frigo, Jani Lane of Warrant fame and Styx’s James Young.

There is one all new song, ‘Dog On A Bone’ with Chip Z’Nuff on lead vocals and it is a typical Enuff Z’Nuff hard rocker, complete with an innuendo filled lyric. Mind you ‘She Makes It Harder’ runs it a close second in the ‘Carry On’ approved stakes! Both have been released as YouTube/streaming singles and are among the best songs on here.

The trippy ‘Devil Of Shakespeare’ features Jani Lane and James Young as guests. Again the band have always been adept at tapping into the psychedelia sounds and adapting it to their own unique sound. Fans will love ‘Rockabye Dreamland’, a real Beatles influenced harmony filled song and it was written by the classic line-up of Vie/Z’Nuff/Frigo/Foxx. This is the sort of song the band excels at and is perfect piece of pop rock.

A couple of songs are a tad throwaway like ‘Nothing’, but overall the song quality is high and there is a lot more guitar crunch in many of these songs than on latter day albums.

Enuff Z’Nuff have been through enough trials and tribulations in their history, not least multiple record labels, and yet through it all they still keep producing gloriously catchy pop-rock songs. Quite where the band will head and sound now without Donnie Vie is one to watch with interest and it appears he will still be involved in some capacity with the band. ‘Clowns Lounge’ is one for the band’s fans and hopefully it can win over a few new ones, as we are lucky to have this band still around and making music. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie



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