Releasing a solo album towards the beginning of 2022 obviously was not enough for bassist/singer Chip Z’Nuff, as in November the band released their 17th studio album, ‘Finer Than Sin’. With the return of Tony Fennell (guitar, vocals) in 2021, we are back to the same line-up we have had since Chip reset the band in 2016 (although lead guitarist Tory Stoffregen was also in the band from 2008-2014), with the final member of the quartet being drummer Daniel B. Hill. This is the fourth album with Chip on lead vocals, a role he has really settled into, and yet again we find him bringing in an old song where he has allowed himself a somewhat reimagining. This time we get “Temporarily Disconnected”, another Chip and Donnie song from the ‘Never Enuff: Demos and Rarities’ Box Set.
This album has everything one expects from these guys with Beatles style pop harmonies infused with melodic rock, but there is a song near the end of the album which is quite a shock, and in many ways does not fit in with the rest of the set. Why they felt the need to cover “God Save The Queen” is quite beyond me, as musically this is very different to what they normally perform, and this pop punk version adds nothing to the original and its inclusion feels totally at odds with their normal style. It is almost as if they are looking for some spark, as while this is an enjoyable album it is not quite up to what I would normally expect, and of the two it is Chip’s solo album which is more balanced and fun to listen to. I am not sure if they will ever again reach the heights of ‘10’, but they can always be guaranteed to produce something which is interesting if you are a fan of melodic pop rock. 7/10 Kev Rowland