Ten Words For Snow -
Spit on Electrics
by Mark Hensch
There are two key problems often tormenting
today’s average and independent revival/raw/garage rock acts. First
off, is the music of said act truly original? Is this music fresh
because it sounds different from everything else on modern radio, or is
it stale and plagiarized as it is merely old-school rock played by a new
band decades later?
The second problem is the one of popularity.
Indy label acts don’t have video rotations on MTV or Fuse, radios blaring
their new singles, or sold-out arena concerts. At best, they have
word of mouth and blind luck on the internet. At worst, they have
neither. Because of this, if a band is going to debut on a shoestring
budget six-song EP, it is imperative to make those six songs count; fans
are not converted by six songs of filler material or “comfort zone” band
Ten Words for Snow, a mellow garage pop
rock act, also hailing from my hometown of Detroit, fails right off on
song #1 on their debut “Spit for Electrics.” “Painted Mouths” is
at best a mildly catchy song that vaguely recalls the late 60’s or early
70’s music eras. It detracts a whole “conversion” worthy song and
instead plays a forgettable jam that doesn’t do anything to help the band’s
fanbase. Thankfully, for all parties involved, “Instants get a Stretch”
saves some face for the album. This throbbing song is like a heartbeat;
its verses are relaxed and paced, before the song’s “heartbeat” speeds
into a pulsing rocker chorus. For some reason this invokes recollections
of “White Blood Cells” White Stripes rock in my mind. The trippy
bluesy solo towards the middle shows what a band like this should do to
convert potential listeners, chiefly myself. The album’s strongest
song, “Between 3 Places,” allows guitarist Justin to play some grooving
pop rock riffs while him and fellow vocalist John Nelson croon in Weezerish
or maybe even Beach Boys like vocals. This is a great oldies pop-rocker.
“Lotion Song” is a quasi-Beatles jam laced with some bleeps-and-bloops
off the keyboard. The vocals somehow now offers up imitation to quiet
Foo Fighters music. “Insides” is a largely uninspired laid-back tune.
It does get some respect though for some nice psychedelic interludes.
“Spit on Electrics” is a great closer song. It has baseball game
keyboard keys, trippy drumming, nice bass lines, and shows how a band should
play controlled, slow, rock and do it for keeps.
All in all, this CD is purely middle of
the ground. Nothing here is fully God-awful, but then again nothing
here is also “Greatest Band Ever” material. Fans of slower pop-rock
would enjoy it, and most parents would too; its mildly talented and non-threatening
rock that is perhaps a little too complacent for its own good. I
do however have lots of hope for this band; once they further define the
weaker parts of this semi-entertaining sound, they mediocre blend of mellow
rock, keyboards, and trippy vocals can grow into something truly great.
Here’s hoping they do.
Ten Words for Snow---Spit on Electrics
1. Painted Mouths
2. Instants get a Stretch
3. Between 3 Places
4. Lotion Song
6. Spit on Electrics
Website - learn more about the band