ENUFF Z’NUFF “Enuff Z’Nuff’s Hardrock Nite”
.By Theron Moore
Here’s why this hurts me to write this review. I like ENUFF Z’NUFF. And this record is not their best work, or, more specifically, Chip Z’Nuff’s best work. He’s currently last man standing in this band that made a name for themselves with songs like “New Thing” and “Fly High Michelle.” It’s not breaking news that ENUFF Z’NUFF had a pronounced CHEAP TRICK / BEATLES influence in their music. I could hear that in a track like “Mother’s Eyes,” I heard Chip Z’Nuff say it in interviews, and that’s always been fine with me.
As much as I don’t want to write a negative review of anything Enuff Z’Nuff related, this is not a good record and it wasn’t a good record choice as THE BEATLES are all over Disney+ right now via the new Peter Jackson documentary, “The Beatles: Get Back.” I’m binging that doc. I’m also a BEATLES fan going back to the 70’s; I listen to their music more than any other artist I can think of. If this were the late 80’s, early 90’s, ENUFF Z’NUFF could get away making this record.
31 years later, they can’t. 31 years later, this band can’t afford to throw out a covers record when they need to stay relevant putting out original material. “Enuff Z’Nuff’s Hardrock Nite” is seven BEATLES songs, two McCartney solo tracks, and “Cold Turkey” from Lennon:
“Magical Mystery Tour”
“Live and Let Die”
“Back in The U.S.S.R”
“With A Little Help From My Friends”
The overall problem is that “JET” and “Back In The U.S.S.R” are decent to average interpretations of these songs but the other eight tracks lack energy, spirit, and fire. I wanted to hear Chip Z’Nuff belt these songs out with attitude and swagger, I wanted to hear some dirty guitar and feel the grease and I didn’t get any of that. I kept waiting for Chip Z’Nuff to let loose and bust a nut, but he never got there.
Z’Nuff’s vocal approach seemed restrained on just about every song, and the band seemed like their signature sound had been reigned in. “Magical Mystery Tour” could’ve been a rager, “Eleanor Rigby” and “Live And Let Die” could’ve been vocal showcases for Chip Z’Nuff, hell, for the entire band, for that matter. GNR and LIZZY BORDEN’s cover of “Live And Let Die” killed it, both bands honored the song in their own style and made it work. Not so with ENUFF Z’NUFF.
I’ll bottom line it like this. If I want to listen to THE BEATLES, I have my movies, docs, and music, and I’m happy with that. But ENUFF Z’NUFF? I want glammy, sleazy, rock N roll. I like what they do, their original material speaks to me. “Enuff Z’Nuff’s Hardrock Nite” does not.