Monday 24 September 2018

Album Review: ENUFF Z' NUFF - Diamond Boy

Enuff Z' Nuff - Diamond Boy

01. Transcendence
02. Diamond Boy
03. Where Did You Go
04. We're All the Same
05. Fire & Ice
06. Down on Luck
07. Metalheart
08. Love is on the Line
09. Faith Hope & Luv
10. Dopesick
11. Imaginary Man

Enuff Z' Nuff were one of those bands that I was aware of at some point in the nineties, but I never paid much attention to them. Their music was like a mix between The Beatles, Cheap Trick and Tigertailz, but from what I heard, simply weren't in the same league. I remember hearing their early 'hit' New Thing, but it didn't win me over enough for me to pick up any of their records. I recently noticed that they had a new album out on Frontiers, so I thought I'd give it a listen and find out if I've been missing out on anything.

Having done a little research, original singer Donnie Vie is no longer with the band, and lead vocals are now being handled by founder member and bassist Chip Z' Nuff. Yes, he still calls himself that, and incidentally, still looks like a children's entertainer who's recently come off the drugs and is trying to get through the day.

The first thing that hit me when I started listening to the record was how horrible the production was on opener Diamond Boy (the first track Transcendence is just an intro). It sounded like I was listening to it underwater. I'm sure it's supposed to come across as contemporary, psychedelic or experimental in some way, but the overall sound detracts from what's a half-decent song. If I'm brutally honest, it sounds like a poor version of The Wildhearts, or an unused Honeycrack B-Side that never saw the light of day. I know that sounds harsh, but I expected a lot more from the title track.

The production improves after Diamond Boy, but Chip Z'Nuff's lead vocals are still soaked in every effect under the sun. At times it gives his voice an interesting character, but it's so overused that he sounds more like a robot than a human being, which is quite a shame.  

The album does have some enjoyable moments such as Metalheart, which is the most badass rocker as well as the best track on here, and Fire & Ice, which sounds a little like Nine Lives-era Aerosmith. However, the production and overall 'pedestrian Beatles' vibe of the album lets this release down. I'm sure a good chunk of the band's existing fan-base will enjoy it, but I can't see it breaking down barriers and helping them to reach a new audience any time soon.


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