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| 6 February 2015 | Reply

Cleopatra Records
3 February, 2015
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
8 ½ /10

Chip Z'Nuff - Strange Time cover

Enuff Z’Nuff singer/bassist Chip Z’Nuff makes no bones that his debut solo album is “a stoner rock record,” (a feeling highlighted by the presence of the super-trippy track Hello To The Drugs) but it’s not as far removed from EZ’s Beatlesesque pop rock as he might think.

Opener Sunshine practically channels John Lennon, while Still Love Your Face is pure EZ, but he’s on the money when he suggests the record is a departure overall.

First single Rockstar is a psychedelic trip caught on tape, a dreamy, dope-smoke-haze of a song that features Geezer Butler’s son Biff helping out on vocals and a melody that is as insidious as it is immediate. The album’s title track is a co-write with industrial wierdy Trent Reznor and produced by Rick Rubin, and the darkness shows. F..Mary..Kill is built around a chunk of Steve Miller’s Fly Like An Eagle, held down with a funky bass line and another trippy vocal from The Chipster. It’s great.

Anna Nichole is an instrumental piece that could easily be from a movie soundtrack, full of off-the-rails sadness and regret. The album closes with Steven Adler and Robin Zander lending a hand on the Kinks classic All Day And All Of The Night, before there’s a “bonus EP” of tracks in collaboration with the ex-GnR drummer.

Described by Z’Nuff as “incendiary”, Adler’s drummer certainly sounds back to something near his former glory, and all the tracks are co-writes between the two.

More hard rock than the trippier album proper, the Adler Z’Nuff EP might have been better served as a bonus disc (though that would have increased the expense, I suppose).

Opening with a great rocker in My Town, and featuring Adler’s huge drum sound, it does seem like the drummer has recovered from his health issues: he sounds in fine form. Yesterday (Another Wasted Day) could easily fit on an EZ album, while The Game mashes Status Quo boogie with Beatle-Z’nuff poppiness to great effect.

Tonight We Met (And Now We’re Going To F***) is a glam stomper featuring a sampled solo from Adler’s old bandmate Slash, and vocals and giggles from Missing Person’s Dale Bozzio – it’s not as sleazy as it sounds, and is a standout on the EP – before closing out with the Paul McCartney pilfering (and crediting) The Pain Is All On You, another track which could fit comfortably on any Enuff Z’nuff album.

Strange Time (and it’s tag-along Adler Z’Nuff EP) see Chip Z’Nuff taking a tentative but not-too-broad step out of the cocoon of the band he’s fronted for thirty years, and the results are trippy, hippy excellent, if not always six degrees removed from his work with that band – but then, after a lifetime and a career’s work as the only constant in a band, why should his solo work be completely different?

Category: CD Reviews

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