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Enuff Z'Nuff - Brainwashed Generation


By Kevin Mikol

“Brainwashed Generation” (Frontiers Records) is the latest release of new music from Enuff Z’Nuff, one of the hardest working and enduring bands in the world of music.  This is the 15th studio album from the band, and the 2nd one with Chip Z’Nuff taking the reins at the lead vocal mic.   Chip took on the job of singing at the front of the band after original lead singer, Donnie Vie, first stepped away from the road, and eventually stopped recording with the band.  

This newest addition to the Enuff Z’Nuff catalog is full of the same great harmonies throughout the album that longtime fans have grown accustomed to.  Featured at various places on the album are special guests Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Sons of Apollo, Winery Dogs), Daxx Nielsen (Cheap Trick), Tony Fennell (Ultravox), Brian Ray (Paul McCartney) and local musicians Steve Ramone and Joel Norman.  As an added bonus, if you listen closely to “Drugland Weekend” you probably still won’t hear the “inaudible” lead guitar track that Ace Frehley contributed to it, as told in the album notes (I’m sure there’s a great story behind this)!

In recent years, many bands and/or their labels have tried to pack the end of an almost 75 minute CD with several filler tracks, simply because the recording space was available.  Rather than putting the quantity of tracks in front of the quality, Chip and Company have instead decided to focus all of their energies on nine solid songs, plus an instrumental lead off track, entitled, “The Gospel.”  “The Gospel” brings the listener to the highest hill of a virtual roller coaster and then leaves them there for a moment, before speeding into “Fatal Distraction”, the album’s first single.  “Fatal Distraction,” which was co-written by Chip and original lead singer, Donnie Vie, has a melodic hook that is so contagious that it’s impossible to stop singing it!  This is undoubtedly the best track to be put into heavy rotation, as was decided on by the band and their label. 
 


Moving further through this very strong release, the guitars and drums are taken up a notch on “I Got My Money Where My Mouth Is.”  Upon further listening, “Help, I’m In Hell” leads off with a psychedelic intro, before plunging into a very melodic plea for assistance amidst recalling a past relationship.  Another standout track is “Strangers In My Head” which once again features Donnie Vie, this time stepping back into his shoes as lead vocalist for just this one track.  “Broken Love,”  the only other song off the album that was released to the world in advance of its official July 10th street date, is super pleasing to the ear for its melodies, lyrics and guitar hook.  The inspirational lyrics and lush harmonies of “Go” make this song an easy one to listen to over and over to soak up its positive energy. The album closes out with “Winding Road.”  The foundation of this song is a catchy drum and guitar groove.  The lyrics to this song are an exploitation of a list of words that all end the same way.  Not detailed here, but also worth an extra listen or two or three are “It’s All In Vain” and “Drugland Weekend.”

Whether you are a longtime fan of Enuff Z’Nuff, or just want to hear some great lyrics, unforgettable melody and harmony work and well-crafted instrumentation, “Brainwashed Generation” is a sonically pleasing journey that you’ll want to take over and over again.  Chip and his band once again deliver the goods on this newest release, which is hopefully the first of many new releases from the band in this new decade.  

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FEATURE INTERVIEW

Longtime bassist and singer Chip Z'Nuff takes time to chat with Dr. Music associate Kevin Mikol about his band's latest offering, Brainwashed Generation, and lots more! Calling in from his home in Blue Island, Illinois, Chip talks with Kevin for more than 45 minutes and takes him on a little tour of his place!
Enjoy this fun, factual, and entertaining interview!



  
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