Attakk! Not to be confused with the old German metal band “Attack” (awesome band), this is an old U.S. band called “Attakk” (awesome band). The guitarist and principal songwriter for Attakk was a Japanese fellow by the name of Hideo (Kuma) Inakuma. Attakk’s lone release was this self-titled 1989 mini-LP (six tracks).
In 1989, Attakk was released on vinyl in Japan by Monster Productions (ATK 1001). The record was distributed by Mandrake Root Distribution.
To my knowledge, Attakk has never been officially re-issued in any form since its original Japan-only release in 1989. A few websites have stated that Attakk was re-issued by Mandrake Root Records of Japan, but I believe this to be false.
Around 2005, a phony Las Vegas label called ‘Strike Force’ released Attakk as a cheap bootleg (CD-R).
Gallery (click to enlarge):
- The track Thunder In The Night was used in the 1990 motion picture Kid (starring C. Thomas Howell). You can view this scene on YouTube by clicking here.
- Vocalist Dave Anthony was previously a member of the L.A. band, Shire. In 1984, Shire released their only record; a self-titled EP produced by Don Dokken.
- A couple of other releases by Monster Productions of Japan included Taz’s Cold Shoulder (1989) and Rattlesnake Shake’s self-titled EP (1990).
- Based on a few scraps of info I’ve picked up around the net, Attakk may have released a demo in Japan around ’87 or ’88. During this time, Attakk’s lead singer was a guy named Dean Kohn. After his tenure with Attakk, Kohn worked briefly with Loudness and Malice but was never featured on any releases for either band. In 2009, Kohn became the lead singer for Barren Cross. (Kohn was not credited with any of the songwriting on the Attakk album.)
- Four Attakk demo tracks from 1988 (with Dean Kohn on vocals) were posted here by Hideo (Kuma) Inakuma.
- There is a video on YouTube of Attakk playing a live gig in 1991 at Jezabell’s in Orange County. The only Attakk member from the video that appears on the Attakk album is Kuma. The singer in the video is Dean Kohn. In the video, Attakk plays a song called Let Me Out, and a different version of the song Thunder In The Night. The vocal arrangement and lyrics to Thunder In The Night are not the same as the version on Attakk. This was Attakk’s last gig, and Kohn joined the band for the gig, as Dave Anthony had left by this time. It seems likely that Kohn was singing the version of Thunder In The Night from his earlier tenure with Attakk. I’m guessing that after Kohn left Attakk around 1988, Dave Anthony joined Attakk and wrote new lyrics to the tune. Anthony gets sole credit for all the lyrics on the Attakk album. The link to the clip is here. (Thanks to NL and Kuma for this nugget.)
- On YouTube, there is a music video for a track called Never Let Me Down by Attakk. The video, which looks homemade, is dated 1990. This track was not on the Attakk album. One could surmise that it was a song that Attakk was preparing for their follow-up album, an album that obviously never materialized. The link to the clip is here. Additionally, and in the same vein, there is a similar video for a cut called Soldier Of Love. That clip is here. Update: Kuma himself wrote me an email and informed me that these two tracks were demos, and the videos were recorded for a Japanese magazine. By this time, Attakk had added a second guitarist named Steven Adrian Miller.
- Attakk was recorded in West Hollywood.
My Worthless Opinion: Never mistake obscurity for lack of quality! Vocalist Dave Anthony has that limp-wristed Stryper/Firehouse/Steelheart kind of thing going, as his voice is quite theatrical. Lyrically, he is not nearly as syrupy-sweet as those other guys. Only the power ballad Never Apart sounds as if it belongs on a late-eighties/early nineties AOR records (still a very good tune). The rest is well-executed, and pretty heavy, traditional metal. This album is a great hidden nugget! Thunder In The Night and Not Your Man are my particular faves. Attakk deserves a proper CD release! My score: A-
Post script: When I originally decided to dedicate a post to this album I didn’t expect anyone to give a shit about it. I figured it was pretty obscure, but since I love the Attakk album I was like “eh… what the hell”. To my surprise it has received quite a few hits. So I guess some people actually care about Attakk after all. Awesome! Furthermore, thanks to Attakk’s guitarist and leader, Hideo (Kuma) Inakuma, who wrote to me and provided me with some of the interesting nuggets about Attakk that I have presented above.