Sunday, December 5, 2010

Classic melodic rock CD of the week

By Stephen Kasenda

ENUFF Z’NUFF “Enuff Z’Nuff” (1989)

Enuff Z'Nuff came to the scene dressed up like drag queens in typical late 80s glam outfits…but make no mistake, behind those masked appearances and goofy name, the band possessed a unique style and highly talented musicianship that cleverly crossed 60s rock with 80s melodic hard rock. The result is what you'll hear in their magnificent self-titled debut. Donnie Vie's voice is unusually gritty, in contrast to most late 80s singers who loved to fly high to reach those notes.

The two most famous Z'nuff songs, "New Thing" and "Fly High Michelle", are featured on this album, but if you think knowing and listening only to those two songs are enuff, then you're wrong. Take "Hot Little Summer Girl" and "Little Indian Angel", for instance. Try cranking the volume up and waiting for their catchy choruses to come rolling in…I won't believe if you don't like these songs. "For Now" is a smooth melodic rock track with radio hit potential, and one of their best songs ever made. "Kiss The Clown" has the naughty snakedance riffs, transforming the classic 60s rock to a harder edge. "I Could Never Be Without You" is a touching ballad, and Vie's lazy vocal and irregular melodies made this track strange and beautiful at the same time.

I found the next release, "Strength", to be slightly more entertaining and better overall, and their third record was their peak. These first three records are the pinnacle of their career. Even though EZN never became the ultimate commercial success, they have lots of loyal fans that kept them going for 25 years. If you like a great blend of 60s rock and 80s glam, then this record is definitely for you.

Read more of Stephen’s features at MetalMusicArchives.

1 comment:

Real Gone said...

God, I love those early Enuff Z'nuff discs.

The later ones have their great moments, but I became increasingly convinced they were patched together from different sessions and the odd leftover, as opposed to being created as albums in their own right.

Take, for example, their eighth album 'Parephernalia' and '10' - they both feature Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins guesting on one track apiece. I strongly suspect both tracks date from the same session, despite being issued a couple of years apart.

Also, it's notable that '10' is not too remarkable apart from 'There Goes My Heart', which is about as great as Enuff Z'nuff ever were - a track good enough to grace either their debut or 'Strength'. In fact, it sounds like another great relic from the pre-debut demos (issued as '1985' and 'Peach Fuzz'). I reckon it sat in their vault for fifteen years - there's *no way* it was written in 2000.