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chipznuffCHIP Z’NUFF

Strange Time
Cleopatra Records

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 weirdy 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 drumming 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).

Strange Time – and it’s tag-along Adler Z’Nuff EP – sees Chip Z’Nuff taking a tentative but not-too-broad step out of the cocoon of the band he’s fronted for 30 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?

4 stars


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