• Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Clowns Lounge – Enuff Z’Nuff Rarities and Old Demos Revived!

When Enuff Z’Nuff debuted in the late 80s, they quickly proved that they were one of the most innovative bands of their era. They were wrongfully thrown under the hair/glam umbrella, though their fusion of hard rock, melodic sounds, alternative, and power pop had far more in common with groups like Cheap Trick. Over the years, even though the band never quite achieved the mainstream success of a number of their peers of the day, they have continued to keep on releasing albums, their sound continually evolving and changing.

Needless to say, when a band releases countless songs over a three decade period, they are going to have some ideas that are cast aside in favor of the cuts that make it on the official albums. Clowns Lounge is the latest release from the band, essentially taking a number of rough demos, rarities, and the like, and revamping them with new musical additions.

It seems to be more and more common these days for bands to go back and revisit old “lost” tracks for their new releases. The results can be questionable, but in some cases, groups manage to unearth and revamp hidden treasures. With Clowns Lounge, the band has completely surprised their audience, giving them a powerful dose of power pop that, in the case of many songs, would not have been out of place on the first album the band put out back in the day. Likewise, even the newer songs, with a more modern edge, manage to stand on their own.

 

Enuff Z'Nuff returns with Clowns Lounge!
Enuff Z’Nuff returns with Clowns Lounge!

 

Do not let the nature of this album fool you; these are not “throwaway” tracks by any means. In fact, the initial track that was released from the album online, “Rockabye Dreamland,” may very well be the best song I have ever heard from the band, and I do not use those words lightly. The power pop here is beautifully illustrated in a song like “Runaway,” and a more modern edge is seen in something like the opening cut, “Dog on a Bone.” “Good Love” is a great traditional 80s hard rocker. In fact, this album does not feel like a collection of discarded, unused tracks that were rush recorded. Audio quality is a little rough in places, no doubt due to the nature of the source material, but this actually feels like a coherent ALBUM.

Even more surprising is a guest appearance from James “JY” Young of Styx fame, and the late Jani Lane of Warrant, both of whom appear on the song “Devil of Shakespeare.” So many tracks on this release defy traditional classification, and this is a great number that certainly falls under that category. This rock and roll fan likes a band that manages to impress while not sounding like anything else out there, and is there really another band that does that as well as Enuff Z’Nuff?

Clowns Lounge is a fantastic release, and fans of the band should not write it off on account of it not being a traditional studio album/offering from the group. There are some excellent songs here, and anyone who picks up the release is bound to be impressed. This new release from Enuff Z’Nuff comes highly recommended!

 

 

By Taylor T Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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