T.M. Stevens: Shockazooloo
Appearing with the Bassist T.M. Stevens on Shockazooloo: Bernie Worrell from P-Funk. Al Pitrelli from Megadeth. Max Weinberg from the E Street Band. Chris Caffery from Savatage. Tonni Smith. Will Calhoun from Living Color. Stevie Salas. Valerie Ghent-keyboards, vocals. Kirk Douglas-guitars, vocals. Paul Malloy-guitars, vocals. Keith Fluitt-vocals. Wolf Simon-Drums. Dennis Hormes-guitar. Darrell Otey-Vocals. Tiffany Sterling-vocals. Kassira-vocals. Carlyle Cole-vocals. Chuck Treece-vocals.
Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters-I have but ONE question I NEED to answer before I can go any further. Who in THE BLOODY HELL is T.M. Stevens? See, I just didn’t know. I loved the wild ass cover art and the fact that somebody made it look just so fucking cool. But the spirit moved me, and I started looking this guy UP. It was his look on that album cover that grabbed me first-the guy is ALWAYS smiling and it is fucking genuine. The album just seemed to say pick me the fuck up you bad, bad magazine editor-pick me up and listen, find out who the fuck I am. –I ALWAYS find out a little something before a musician before I listen to their work because it helps with the psychic thing. Fuck man, T.M. has been around the block a FEW times. He is from the South Bronx, and I am from Yonkers-we were practically fucking neighbors. He was a studio musician. He worked with Joe Cocker, James ‘jump back and kiss myself’ Brown, Nona Hendryx, Cyndi Lauper, Taylor Dayne, Billy Squier, and Tina Turner. He worked with The Pretenders-and Chrissie asked him to join full time but he just couldn’t give up doing his thing. He was a guest artist for some albums that had some really big names attached to them-like Billy Joel, Steve Salas-and yes yes –The Devil Steve Vai. He did the 1997 Deep Purple Tribute-meaning he produced and arranged the fucking thing. He has been on Broadway. He even appeared on one of those Tupac from the grave albums…oh he has also put out a lot of his own shit too. This tells me one thing before I ever listen to it. He doesn’t suck, and he has to be one hard working son of a bitch- a lot of different performers in a lot of different genres must dig the shit out of T.M. Stevens. To do all of that, he must be more than a pretty boy with a pile of hair and a good smile. So, I put on the CD to give the bassist a listen-T.M. Stevens in full effect. –The sound? Funky and HEAVY. If James Brown’s voice was a bass guitar-it would sound like T.M. There is a lot going on musically on this cd-the vocalists on this album sound like a fucking army trying to save T.M.’s soul. There are so many fucking vibes to this cd. Look at the reggae on Maximum Respect, the Gospel on Thumb-too much, but never enough. The sound T.M. puts out is more like a fucking musical history lesson-but not one that is going to piss you off. Every song is put together for maximum effect and it gives the album the feel of an opera or a Broadway show. Sure, you can help but make comparisons to George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic.
-When I listen to Stand On Up, I wonder why in the hell fucking rappers don’t use real musicians?!?! Hey though, it isn’t enough rap to piss me off-it is just enough to add to the music lesson T.M. has put together. –The man doesn’t stick to one style and it works. It is SMOOTH and funky-but we all know how I feel about rap, so can I really be objective here? I think so…hrmmm. Regardless of my feelings about Rap-the bass playing is fucking flawless. –No Good Without The Bad is hard-this one fucking appeals to the metal head in me. Yes, T.M. is the lead vocals on this one and this one MAKES me want to hear him sing. This track also features solos by Chris Caffery of Savatage. I hear him. –T.M.’s spoken word part on this is just downright spooky and Morrison like-very fucking cool. –Go My Way has a hot, jazzy funky edge to it. Stevens has a good voice, and OF COURSE I like it better when he leans more into blues metal. I really like the trumpet on this track. –Spank. The man has fucking Max Weinberg on the drums for this track. You fucking Springsteen lunatics should buy this cd for that alone-but fuck man, let me sell you on it. The fucking TITLE is Spank. All you Hustler freaks should love that, but think James Brown with a metal edge in the front row of a strip club. Prince would be proud of this one-it reminds me a lot of him when he was still cool-you know, before he found Jesus. –Got Nothing To Say is hard, funky, and has a techo feel to it kind of like NIN, but more gospel metal. This track is groundbreaking. Steve Salas on guitar is fucking outrageous here. –Shockazooloo. The title track right? So expect this one to be over the fucking top when you hear it. For the record, over the top is NEVER a fucking insult from anybody at the office of MusicIncider Magazine. –Give It Up is fucking soulful metal. I get the argument. I agree with the argument. Blues spawned rock and roll, and rock and roll spawned metal. It all comes together right here.
-Thrash. Fast and hard. I really like this one-because it is an answer to all of those suicidal little metal heads out there. Oh yeah, it is angry like all those other thrash deals-but the song also says NO YOU CAN’T DO THAT-you gotta keep on keeping on. It has an upbeat message to it.
I like this album. T.M. Stevens is more than just a bassist-he has a massive set of pipes on him. I wasn’t thrilled about the rap-but I got the point. Shockzooloo takes you by the nose through an explanation of how T.M. Stevens music evolved into heavy funk metal-so in other words he backs up and explains himself. You know, I can’t compare him to ANYONE really. He is fucking unusual and cool. –I was led to focus on the music styles on this album by his royal coolness T.M. I got his point, and I wanted you to get it to. –Yes, I like this very much. Yes, this one DESERVES to be in your cd collection. Yes, I will bet he is as cool as hell on stage.
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