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Enuff Znuff - 2010 Dissonance

ARTIST: Enuff Znuff
ALBUM: Dissonance
LABEL: Grind That Axe (Rock Candy)
YEAR: 2010
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: Donnie Vie - lead vocals, guitars * Chip Z'Nuff - bass, background vocals, lead vocals (on 'Chicago') * Vinnie Castaldo - drums * Jake E. Lee - guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 Dissonance * 02 Fine Line * 03 Lazy Dazy * 04 Rollaway * 05 High * 06 Altered States * 07 Playground * 08 Sometimes * 09 Joni Lynn * 10 Chicago * 11 Code Red * 12 When Doves Cry * 13 Run For Your Life



Enuff Znuff have a load of fans on this site plus elsewhere. I could never quite put my finger on this band - and what it is they were trying to be and ultimately what they wanted to be. It should've been enough that the band had the talent to do better than they did. Certainly their vast discography gave them ample opportunity to do so. Was it Cheap Trick or The Beatles that proved to be the biggest influence on this band? Well, they've released a few albums for which listeners and fans alike can be their own judges. Let's look at their latest. Though given a 2010 release by new label Grind That Axe, 'Dissonance' has actually been out in the public domain in limited form since 2008. If I recall, the band were dishing out limited advance copies during Rocklahoma 2008, but this new 2010 version contains three extra tracks. 'Dissonance' marked the return to the band of lead singer Donnie Vie, plus the arrival of guitar master Jake E Lee, lending his unique sound to the band's distinct power-pop/party metal flavour, a situation that would've been new to Jake given his previous track record with mostly heavy metal and hard rock/blues outfits. Their most recent was 2004's '?' album, released on the Perris label, but I think many will agree that 'Dissonance' sees EZN back in the groove!

The Songs
The title track gets things underway, the stop/start nature of this track belies the aggression and cranky attitude. The bass lines are trademark Chip, great also to hear how Jake fits into the overall scheme of things, and though he doesn't pull the same sort of guitar squeals that the late Derek Frigo used to do, you can easily tell that this is an EZN track from a mile away. The sugar sweet melodies of 'Fine Line' land this one in similar territory to many of the nu-breed bands from the 1996-2002 period. 'Lazy Dazy' is next, and if you can imagine John Lennon doing modern pop/rock, then this is as good a case as any. One of the highlights on the CD is the acoustic ramble of 'Rollaway', a definite Beatles throwback if you ask me, with more than a hint of whimsical 60's style thrown in. Very pleasant. 'High' returns to the typical EZN sound and style, whereas 'Altered States' offers something slightly different, pop/rock in the vein of Glenn Burtnick or Kyle Vincent - at a pinch. I enjoyed the made for TV entrance on 'Playground', this one gets better the more you listen to it - a fun filled tune which could've tipped The Rembrandts off their perch back in the day. Another highlight for me comes in the form of 'Sometimes'. All the way through, you can hear touches of some their older and previous material filtering through. Donnie's former wife is the subject of 'Joni Lynn', a track which is hung out to dry like dirty laundry getting a super white wash. Chip takes on the lead vocal for 'Chicago', an ode to the band's hometown, and as expected, has a slightly different feel due to the vocal and overall arrangement. The three bonus tracks feature two unreleased studio efforts: 'Code Red' and 'Run For Your Life', plus a cover of Prince's 'When Doves Cry', the latter sounding nothing like the original version from the man who has recently declared that the Internet 'is over'.. well it is for him.. apparently.

In Summary
Much to my surprise, there's a lot here to be enthused about. Not much in the way of filler, Donnie and Chip continue a legacy which goes right back to the mid 80's, and though it would be a bit rich to say that these guys are the modern day equivalent of McCartney and Lennon, and considering that they've released a heap of material already, there is every likelihood that Enuff Znuff will continue well into the future. So long as bands like this, plus Cheap Trick are still in operation, I am a happy man.

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#1 | Eric on July 08 2010 13:12:57
Terrific band, but the peace sign thing is getting a bit redundant isn't it? So Jellyfish, Black Crowes, World Party, Prince, late 80's/ 90-91 eh?

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