Thursday, December 1, 2016

ENUFF Z' NUFF - Clowns Lounge (2016)

ENUFF Z' NUFF - Clowns Lounge (2016) full

"Clowns Lounge" is the new episode in ENUFF Z' NUFF long time career. The labum, to be released via Frontiers Music is a collection of rarities and early demos that have been partially reworked and re-recorded by the band.
In fact, these have been tweaked alot, with most the instrumental tracks re-recorded with modern standards resulting in a very well sounding, fresh record.

When Enuff Z’Nuff debuted on disc in the late '80s they quickly proved that they were one of the most innovative bands of the era. They were wrongfully thrown under the hair / glam umbrella, though their fusion of hard rock, melodic sounds and power pop had far more in common with groups like Cheap Trick.
Over the years, even though the band never quite achieved the mainstream success of a number of their peers of the day, they have continued to keep on releasing albums, their sound continually evolving and changing.

Needless to say, when a band releases countless songs over a three decade period, they are going to have some ideas that are cast aside in favor of the cuts that make it on the official albums.
"Clowns Lounge", essentially, takes a number of rough demos, rarities, and the like, and revamping them with new musical additions.
It seems to be more and more common these days for bands to go back and revisit old “lost” tracks for their new releases. The results can be questionable, but in some cases, groups manage to unearth and revamp hidden treasures.

With "Clowns Lounge" Enuff Z'Nuff has completely surprised their audience, giving them a powerful dose of melodic rock / power pop that, in the case of many songs, would not have been out of place on the first album the band put out back in the day.
Likewise, even the newer songs, with a more modern edge, manage to stand on their own.

Do not let the nature of this album fool you; these are not “throwaway” tracks by any means. In fact, the initial track that was released from the album online, “Rockabye Dreamland,” may very well be one the best song I have ever heard from the band.
The commercial accessibility here is beautifully illustrated in a song like “Runaway,” and a more modern edge is seen in something like the opening cut, “Dog on a Bone.”

ENUFF Z' NUFF - Clowns Lounge (2016) inside

"Good Love" is a great traditional '80s hard rocker. In fact, this album does not feel like a collection of discarded, unused tracks that were rush recorded. Audio quality is a little rough in places, no doubt due to the nature of the source material, but this actually feels like a coherent, cohesive album.

Even more surprising is a guest appearance from James “JY” Young of Styx fame, and the late Jani Lane of Warrant, both of whom appear on the song “Devil of Shakespeare.” We can hear as well former Enuff Z'Nuff guitarist Derek Frigo who passed away in 2004 from an apparent drug overdose at the age of 37.
So many tracks on this release defy traditional classification, and this is a great number that certainly falls under that category. Enuff Z'Nuff is a band that manages to impress not sounding like anything else out there.

"Clowns Lounge" is a really good release, and fans of the band should not write it off on account of it not being a traditional studio album / offering from the group.
There are some excellent songs here, and anyone who picks up the release is bound to be impressed by its diversity and musicality. There's great hooks, bouncing beats, some jamming riffs, catchy melodies, and overall the album packs a one helluva punch.
Highly Recommended

01 - Dog on a Bone
02 - Runaway
03 - Back in Time
04 - She Makes It Harder
05 - Rockabye Dreamland
06 - The Devil of Shakespeare
07 - Radio
08 - Good Luv
09 - Round and Round
10 - Nothing
11 - Backstreet Kids
12 - One More Hit

Chip Z’nuff – vox, bass, guitar
Tony Fennell – guitar, vox
Tory Stoffregen – guitar, vox
Erik Donner – drums, percussion, vox
Album recordings feature performances of:
Donnie Vie (Enuff Z' Nuff) – vocals
Derek Frigo (Enuff Z' Nuff) guitar
Jani Lane (Warrant) – vocals
James Young (Styx) – vocals



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