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Kuni - 1988 Looking For Action

ALBUM: Lookin' For Action
LABEL: Polydor
YEAR: 1988


LINEUP: Kuni - guitars * Jeff Scott Soto - vocals * Douglas Taylor Baker - bass * Mike Terrana - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Strangers In The Night * 02 Shine On * 03 Accoustic Piece * 04 Memories Of You * 05 Lookin' For Action * 06 Don't Look Back * 07 Say Goodbye * 08 All Night Long * 09 Reckless * 10 Eyes Of A Stranger * 11 Little Rebel * 12 Someday

This is the project of Japanese guitarist Kuni, following hot on the heels of Japanese trailblazers Loudness, and their attempts to promote Japanese melodic rock into the USA during the eighties. What we get here is typical L.A melodic heavy rock, somewhere between the commercialism of bands such as King Kobra or Dokken and the heavy handedness of Rough Cutt or Keel.

The Songs
There can be no criticism of the approach being taken here, but one gets the impression that there's nothing here to stand out from the rest of the pack. Certainly the cast assembled here have some pretty impressive credentials, and while 'Looking For Action' is Kuni's second album, it straddles the fence between being a widdly-diddly guitar album and a true band effort. As a result, when listening to this album many years later, it's not a convincing listen, and somehow you get the impression that something is missing. And what is missing? Well, a beefier production would've helped, that guitar sounds repetitively thin. Some subtle layers of keyboards would've helped immensely to give the thing some depth, as would some variation to the arrangements. Not even Soto's vocals or Terrana's drums can save the day. Therefore, most of the songs tend to drift past me without any great deal of recognition, certainly nothing to make me to really go back and have a second listen.

In Summary
For those who have seen this album on wants lists for years I can end the speculation here and now. This is not an AOR album at all. If heavy guitar based rock a la Vinnie Vincent is your thing, then by all means. To hear Jeff Scott Soto, at his best, I would suggest listening to the debut Talisman album, which is a better representation of his work.

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