Artist: TM Stevens 
   Title: Africans In The Snow
   Label: SPV Records

The name TM Stevens has been linked with some of the biggest names in rock from Steve Vai, Little Steven, Tina Turner and Billy Joel to name but a few, as well as being a member of the Pretenders in 86, playing bass on both James Browns ‘Living in America’ and Joe Cockers ‘Unchain My Heart’.  With all these accomplishments TM has also managed to focus on his solo career.  'Africans In The Snow' is his fifth solo release and follows his 'Shocka Zooloo' album released in 2001.

This album is pure Funk Metal with Stevens vibrant and hefty bass playing, as well as his now trademark vocals, mixed with some spellbinding guitars and a wealth of guest artists who contribute to this really good album.

The album gets underway with ‘What’ and instantly you can feel the coolness come over you as Stevens brings a little African vibe into you life with the intro, then it's straight down to business with his funk ridden bass lines.

The same funk metal vibe is carried throughout the album and as you might suspect is the dominant feature of most of the tracks, with the next track ‘Up’ a prime example of his bass style.  If you aren’t familiar with TM Steven’s work then imagine a mix between Living Colour and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers but with a few metal guitar riffs thrown in for good measure and you won't be far wrong.

We get to the more harder metal style of bass with the formative tones of ‘Fight Fight Fight’, then it's back to the funk with one of my favourites off the album ‘Gotta Get My Move On’.  A track full of vibe and attitude funky style and the bass solo midway through is just superb.

The album takes a break from the thumping bass as things slow down with the jazz funk of ‘Afro Soul’ and continue on into ‘Tell Me The Truth’ and ‘Wake Up’, before the tempo is picked up once more with my personal favourite ‘Why We Rock So Hard (It's Our Roots)’, a mix of reggae and rock Stevens style.

‘Mama Said’ is another soul rich bass ridden track with Stevens showing how the bass can shape a track.  Giving this one a definite 70’s soul train feel, then it's back to the metal with the Korn like ‘We Will Never Do That Again’, before really expanding the boundaries of which the bass can go with the down right funky ‘Weird G’.

The title track ‘Africans In The Snow’ shows the complexity of various mixes in style on this album, as things start off with the traditional African feel before the thumping bass and driving guitars take over.  If Jimmy Hendrix played the bass then this is what he would have played.

Stevens once again brings a little more traditional African styling into the mix for ‘Ayeahi’ before we are treated to the remixed version of ‘Why We Rock So Hard’, the Raga Muffin Rootdown remix, which rounds a pretty eclectic mix of an album which is a must for all aspiring bass players, as this album shows what the much ignored instrument can really do when at the hands of a master. 

Tracklisting:

1. What
2. Up
3. Fight, Fight, Fight
4. Gotta Get My Move On 
5. Afro Soul 
6. Tell Me The Truth
7. Wake Up 
8. Why We Rock So Hard (It's Our Roots)
9. Mama Said
10. We Will Never Do That Again
11. Weird G
12. Africans In The Snow
13. Ayeahi
14. Why We Rock So Hard (Raga Muffin Rootdown Remix)
                  

 

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