Enuff Z’nuff
Diamond Boy
Frontiers Music S.R.L.
★★

What I find most impressive about Enuff Z’nuff is that this is a band who has weathered the elements. They rose during the height of the hair metal scene, powering their rock prowess through the grunge era when many bands sank, and consistently released album after album when rock and roll was thought to be dying out.

And here they are still cranking away new material on Diamond Boy. Founder, bass player and lead vocalist Chip Z’nuff leads the band that consists of ex-Ultravox member Tony Fennell, longtime member Tory Soffregen, and Benjamin Hill.

The band has staggered around power rock and pop in the last decade, taking a more gritty approach on Clowns Lounge to the Sunset Strip heavy Dissonance back in 2009. Previously, they took major risks on the 1993 Animals With Human Intelligence. As grunge exploded, Enuff Z’nuff released one of their most brazen rock albums to date.

Now on Diamond Boy, there is a societal challenge that tends to fall flat. Instead of the Strip, the band looks more toward Cheap Trick to fuel a style that feels like a failed nod to glam rock.

Enuff Z’nuff – Metalheart

The title track tries to act like the New York Dolls instead of themselves. “Where’d You Go” ramps up the rock hipshaker standing in Enuff Z’nuff rock territory. But even here the melodies have too much folly to be sexy or dangerous, two attributes I would like to define the band. “Fire Ice” is where they should be. The harmonies are spot on, there is mystery two the song and it is a modest rock number that builds intrigue with the listener. Not quite grunge, but not quite power pop either, this song lies in the abyss, making it the best song on this release.

“Down on Luck” is a bland rock song . . . drugs. . . rock . . . blah . . . the song sounds like a stale cigarette smells. “Metalheart” redeems itself and adds life into this album. The band finds the sound that is satisfying on all levels from cool guitar licks to a rock solid rhythm. Here the vocals hit a range that is not goofy in that pop spectrum or, the “I listened to way to much of The Beatles” mimicry that we hear on this record (“Love Is On The Line” screams Beatles-esque pop).

Compared to Clowns Lounge, the album does not live up to the potential the band has been dominating with. Diamond Boy is oversaturated with melodies that scream a heavy ‘60s power pop movement without the success of exploiting power pop into a more dangerous rock reputation. I hope they will snap out of this doldrum state and get back to the essence of what hair metal was all about—fantastical rock songs and powerful balladry.

Categories: Reviews

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