Released by: Frontiers Records
Release Date: Out Now!!!
Dog On A Bone
Back In Time
She Makes It Harder
The Devil Of Shakespeare
Radio; Good Luv
Round And Round
One More Hit
Chip Z’nuff – Singer, electric bass, guitar
Tony Fennell – Electric guitar, vox
Tory Stoffregen – Lead guitar, vox
Erik Donner – Drums, percussion, vox
Enuff Z’Nuff are one of those bands from “back in the day” that came in like gangbusters then seemingly faded into obscurity. Their 1989 s/t debut offered up a couple of hits that found regular rotation on MTV (when they still showed music videos) and even radio (when they actually played rock music.) My enjoyment of them stayed a not so great secret for a while. Though I often mocked the way they looked and the syrupy sound of their songs, I actually quite liked them. In fact, with each subsequent release, I have grown to like them more and more. With a sound equal parts glam rock and Beatlemania, they managed to create a distinct sound all their own. Though my more metal-minded friends give me grief over my love of Enuff, I don’t care. I dig ’em.
With their first more or less “new” release in 6 years, the band is back with Clowns Lounge which is an album of mostly re-worked demos and unreleased tracks dating back to recording sessions in 1988/89. Since outside of rabid collectors of the band these songs have never seen the light of day, it gives an excellent view of where the band was then and where they are now. You can certainly hear on songs like “She Makes It Harder,” “Dog On A Bone,” and “Good Love” how they could’ve possibly wound up on one of their first few records as opposed to gathering dust in the vault. Very much consistent with the glam Beatles they’ve been known for, it’s interesting to hear how timeless Chip and Donnie are, as whatever re-recording has been done is virtually seamless. Another nice addition to this album is the inclusion of “Devil of Shakespeare” that features the late Jani Lane as well as the very much alive and well James Young of Styx. It’s a darker, more somber song than most of the rest of the album which shows that they were not afraid to experiment with a different sound, later shown on following albums after the s/t debut.
I suppose if Van Halen can release a “new” album of nothing more than revamped demos (many of which have been floating around for decades) it should be OK for Enuff Z’Nuff. Clowns Lounge is the perfect vehicle for old and new fans to enjoy some new tunes from these guys. Stripped away of the make-up and hair they became known for are really some great songwriters not too far removed from someone like Cheap Trick.
Reviewer: Chris Martin