J.P. Rider


Band members               Related acts

- Jim Alaimo (RIP 1992) -- guitar, bass

- Phil Curcio Jr. -- guitar

- Greg Jones -- bass

- Joe Pullara -- vocals

- Phil Scoma -- lead guitar, rhythm guitar

- Tari Smith -- vocals

 

  backing musicians:

- Don Baldwin -- drums, percussion

- Paris Bertolucci -- keyboards, synthesizers

- Jeff Ervin -- sax

- John Gabrielli -- bass

- John Hinterman - trumpet

- Jim Hogasian -- drums, percussion

- David Junkins -- guitar

- Mingo Lewis -- percussion

 

 

 

The Chocolate Watchband (Phil Scoma)

- Jammer (Jim Alaimo)

- The Mojo Men (Jim Alaimo and Paul Curcio Jr.)

- Jimmy Paris (Jim Alaimo) (solo efforts)

- Jimmy Summers and the Slicks (Jim Alaimo)

- The Valiants (Jim Alaimo and Paul Curcio)

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  Coming At Ya!

Company: Wizard

Catalog: 1301
Year: 1977

Country/State: California

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5984

Price: $75.00

 

So what do I know about this mid-1970s obscurity?  Not much.  I know that band members Jim Alaimo and Paul Curcio Jr. enjoyed a bit of success as members of The Valiants and The Mojo Men and following the band's breakup, in the early 1970s they wrote and produced some material for singer Lou Gramm in his pre-Foreigner outfit Poor Heart.  For his part, lead guitarist Phil Scoma had been a late inning member of The Chocolate Watchband.  

 

As a big fan of 1960s garage bands like The Chocolate Watchband and The Mojo Men, I had big hopes for this collection ...   Unfortunately, co-produced by Alaimo and Curcio, "Coming At Ya!"  was a major disappointment.  The performances were certainly competent, but anyone expecting to hear traces of their garage/psych roots was in for a rude awakening.   Exemplified by tracks like 'Remember December', '' and '' this was thoroughly bland and forgettable adult contemporary pop.  Literally none of the eleven tracks reflected anything even remotely original, or memorable.  Hard to believe that such talented people could turn out such a bland collection ... 

 

- Written by Jeffrey Staton (of Staton Brothers fame), 'Ooh Did I Miss Her' was the album's only non-original.  Musically this was pretty lightweight Southern California AOR.  Joe Pullara had a nice, if anonymous voice, which actually served as a pretty good description of this song.  Imagine a second rate Pablo Cruise and you'd get a feel for the performance.   rating: ** stars

- Showcasing singer Tara Smith, 'Remember December' was a pretty, but very MOR-ish ballad.  Perfect Holiday Inn cocktail lounge material ...  Shame since Smith had a pretty voice which was totally wasted on this one.   rating: * star

- Smith was also featured on the jazzy 'Lazy Susan'.  While this one wasn't MOR, if was definitely adult contemporary ...  still, compared to most of the album it sported a decent melody and Jeff Ervin's sax solos were tuneful and relatively enjoyable.   rating: *** stars

- With Pullara and Smith sharing lead vocals, 'Lonely Man' was one of those hideous 'big' ballads that was clearly written with an ear to radio play.  Overblown and literally dripping with nauseating over emotion, this one seemed to go on forever ...  Simply dreadful.   rating: * star

- Ever heard Wild Cherry's 'Play That Funky Music (White Boy)'?  Most folks would readily admit that it was a pretty dreadful piece of blue-eyed funk ...  Well, compared to 'Dance Your Pants Off' it sounded like a classic slice of soul.   You just had to wonder what these guys were thinking when they wrote and recorded this song.  Give it an extra star for being so awful.   rating: ** star 

- 'Under the Influence 9of Love)' opened side two with the album's nod to a rock song ...  Bad Jefferson Starship ?  Well at least there was a nice Phil Scoma guitar solo.   rating: ** stars

- Smith really did have a nice voice, but once again it was wasted on a lame mid-tempo ballad like 'That's Not a Tear'.  The hokey life-is-tough-on-the-road lyrics didn't really help the song, though Scoma turned in a nice, jazzy lead guitar.  rating: ** stars

- For some reason every time I hear 'Two Is Better Than None' I think of ABBA.  I'm guessing it has something to do with the fact this was the album's most commercial, catchy, and calculated performance.  The song had one of those hooks that drilled into your head and then wouldn't leave.   rating: *** stars

- 'My Racheal' ... another bland and forgettable ballad.   rating: * star

- Opening up with a nice Scoma solo, 'Keep Me As Long As You Can' could have been a great song, but quickly sank under a flat and uninspired lead vocal.   rating: ** stars  

- Maybe it was just a reflection of having gotten through the album, but I have to admit to liking the horn-powered 'Crazy Love Song'.  Probably the album's most enthusiastic performance it was unfortunate the rest of the collection wasn't as good.

 

All told, a surprisingly bland collection.  Simply not a great deal here that you'd remember for more than a couple of hours.  Totally unrelated to earlier comments, anyone know if Wizard was a tax-scam label?  

 

"Coming At Ya!" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Ooh Did I Miss Her   (Jeffrey Staton) - 2:36
2.) Remember December
   (Jim Alaimo) - 4:23
3.) Lazy Susan
   (Jim Alaimo - G. Alaimo) - 3:32
4.) Lonely Man
   (Jim Alaimo - G. Alaimo) - 5:06
5.) Dance Your Pants Off
   (Jim Alaimo - G. Alaimo) - 3:15

(side 2)
1.) Under the Influence (of Love)   (Jim Alaimo - G. Alaimo) - 3:47

2.) That's Not a Tear   (Jim Alaimo - G. Alaimo) - 3:14

3.) Two Is Better Than None   (Jim Alaimo) - 3:03

4.) My Racheal   (Jim Alaimo) - 3:43

5.) Keep Me As Long As You Can   (Jim Alaimo) - 2:50

6.) Crazy Love Song   (Jim Alaimo - G. Alaimo) - 3:11

 

Alaimo reappeared as a member of Jammer.  Sadly he died in June 1992 following heart surgery.  He was only 53 years old.

 

 

 

 

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