We all have a guilty pleasures; bands we are not supposed to like because they don’t fit what people expect us to be into. One of my biggest is Enuff Z’nuff. I have always loved them. While a ton of people really only know “Fly High Michelle” and “New Thing” and think the band disbanded after that, I have loved most of their albums. TWEAKED, PARAPHERNALIA, SEVEN and PEACH FUZZ are soundtracks to my 30s that I still play often. Sadly though, the core of the band, Chip Z’nuff and Donnie Vie, have a real Dokken/Lynch Van Halen/Roth type of relationship between them. The difference though is that Z’nuff and Vie have never had success away from Enuff Z’nuff, which always leads back to releases like CLOWNS LOUNGE being released.
To be clear, if you are an Enuff Z’nuff fan, you will find some nuggets to enjoy here. Being that most of these songs were demos of songs that didn’t make the first album, you can immediately understand the quality of them. There’s nothing here truly terrible, but there are definitely some songs that just sound unfinished or like fragments that were never fleshed out. “Runaway” just seems to be missing a verse as it lazily fades out. “Dog On A Bone”, with Z’nuff on vocals instead of Vie, has that typical replacement player vibe that made albums like Warrant’s BORN AGAIN with Jamie St. James on vocals simply not work. Songs like “Back In Time” sound like the Enuff Z’nuff that fans have enjoyed over the years, but that’s more of the exception than the rule here.
PITRIFF RATING - 55/100 - As a fan of the band and someone that considers Chip a personal friend, I wish I liked this more. I have to be honest though, and I don’t. Being a completist, it’ll go in the collection, but being a realist, it will have to hit my player on a random shuffle for me to ever hear it again. Passable...but not really intriguing.