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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 music.

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
5.  Insides
6.  Spit on Electrics

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