Propelled by all things poppy and punchy, catchy and crunchy, Enuff Z’Nuff has been a bona fide, authentic rock and roll treasure since first blowing in from the Windy City with their brilliant self-titled debut back in ’89. Unfortunate victims of their breakout timing, Enuff Z’Nuff never had much in common stylistically with aerosol-sprayed ’80s-era hair metal poster boys. However, they did (and still do) have everything in common with psychedelic-tinged ’60s-era power pop kingpins. In fact, they’ve been known for nailing Beatles classics for decades. Hence, their latest record should come as no surprise to longtime enthusiasts.
A heartfelt tribute to the Fab Four, Enuff Z’Nuff’s Hardrock Nite is a raw, live-sounding 10-track collection featuring a fistful of timeless Beatles classics, as well as a few iconic solo tunes from Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Leading the charge—band patriarch, frontman/bassist Chip Z’nuff, along with his current cast of co-conspirators; guitarists Tony Fennell and Tory Stoffregen, and drummer Daniel Hill. The result is a hit-and-miss affair.
“Magical Mystery Tour” has been covered tragically over the years by Cheap Trick, Styx and now Enuff Z’Nuff. A seemingly happy soundtrack to a sad trip, this one wants to sprint, but can’t move quicker than a THC-inspired chug.
Reflective of a lot of recent EZ studio work, John Lennon’s 1969 heroine-injected “Cold Turkey” works extremely well here, as does the 1966 Beatles staple, “Eleanor Rigby.” The 1973 Paul McCartney standard, “Live And Let Die” oozes signature-style EZ charm. More lo-fi, yet less pretentious than the famed 1991 Guns N’ Roses rendition, it delivers some blistering lead guitar work.
Additionally noteworthy, “Dear Prudence” is an honest remake that could have been a nice bonus track on 10 back in 2000. However, another White Album offering, “Helter Skelter” sounds sadly uninspired. The McCartney gem, “Jet” is a super-snug-fitting highlight, while “Revolution” feels a bit phoned-in. Conversely, “Back in the U.S.S.R.” is an extra-crisp, high-energy keeper.
Then there’s the record-closing pick of the litter — “With a Little Help from My Friends.” A soaring, epic-length success, this Sgt. Pepper standout not only is a record highlight, but also arguably an Enuff Z’Nuff career highlight—pop/rock-meets-gospel/soul at a George Martin love-in. Bravo!
In sum, Chip and the fellas “hit” more than they “miss” with this feel-good set—making for a worthy addition to the exhaustive EZ catalogue.
Enuff Z’Nuff’s Hardrock Nite Track Listing:
1. Magical Mystery Tour (5:07)
2. Cold Turkey (4:07)
3. Eleanor Rigby (4:19)
4. Live and Let Die (3:52)
5. Dear Prudence (6:16)
6. Helter Skelter (4:25)
7. Jet (3:50)
8. Revolution (3:42)
9. Back in the U.S.S.R. (3:14)
10. With a Little Help from My Friends (7:15)
Run Time: 46:01
Release Date: 11.12.21 (CD) / 12.10.21 (Vinyl)
Record Label: Frontiers Music s.r.l.