Enuff Z’nuff formed in 1984 and released their self-titled debut five years later. Founding members, Chip Z’Nuff and Donnie Vie along with guitarist Derek Frigo and drummer Vikki Foxx enjoyed huge success with that album and the two singles from it – ‘New Thing’ and ‘Fly High Michelle’.
Bass player and vocalist Chip is still in the band today and has recruited guitarist Tory Stoffregen, ex-Ultravox singer/guitarist Tony Fennell, and Daniel Benjamin Hill on drums, and together they have released their 14thalbum, Diamond Boy. They have kept, but updated their signature sound… a thing I call heavy pop and across 11 tracks and 47 minutes, they prove that the spark is still there.
It kicks off with a throwaway 65-second vocal/occasional chord work before the first and title track begins: ‘Diamond Boy’ is a Bowie flavoured poppy song with a catchiness that carries it and you along quite happily. The lyrics are Chip at his humorous best, and the two guitarists do a fine job heavy-ing it up slightly.
‘We’re All the Same’ changes the feel a little with some tasty slide guitar, although the multi-tracked vocals on a Beatle-esque melody take that edge away. ‘Down on Luck’ has, to me, a Zappa like feel, especially at the start and through the central section and a decent guitar solo to the fade.
‘Metalheart’ isn’t as metal as the title may suggest: rather it is closer to a glam rock sound with the chugging riff and harmony chorus. It does go on a bit however and could have done with some space for proper soloing by the two fine guitarists.
‘Love Is On The Line’ is another Beatle tribute style ballad but nearly has a solo! ‘Faith, Hope, Luv’ starts with a great rock riff, before we (hurrah!) get a longer solo, which is really rather good: that alone makes it my pick of the bunch. Final track, ‘Imaginary Man’ has that lovely slide introducing another heavy pop song with more clever lyrics. Mott could have done this at their peak and, if Top Of The Pops still existed, so could Enuff Z’Nuff.
I liked every song on here and yet, the overall feeling is one of ‘saminess’ throughout. Chip’s multi-tracked vocals are to the fore on every song and the space for the band to show their credentials few and far between. It is good, just not all at once, thank you.