10 Words For Snow exist in the netherworld between metal and pop. It’s a tough sound — but one they might consider “relaxed,” a theme that also pops up randomly in the band’s lyrics. There’s the jangly guits (consider REM boffing XTC) and Hüsker Dü-like flashes too. And in a way similar to early REM outings, song lyrics are buried, almost unintelligible, which is fine, as the soundscape here is so damn alluring. Though, when lucidity strikes, singer Justin (just Justin) spouts some dandy wordplay: “Sometimes my car could stand to take the train.” Discovering meanings in the songs can be both fun and tricky (Could “Insides” really be about vomit-inducing demon alcohol? Gosh!), the riddles are bundled tightly within the conundrum.
The Spit on Electrics title implies a youthful brashness, a discounting of history. So are they experienced? They are. TWFS, a trio that incorporates drums, swirling guitars and keyboards, hails from combos like 7,000 Dying Rats, Bog Blast and Cromwell. And these tunes are finely crafted, upright and, best of all, listenable. Overall — nondescript passages aside — TWFS is a winsome collective amped up on earnestness. They’re still young too, and a fine example of what Ferndale and Royal Oak can produce. Contact the collective at tenwordsforsnow.com.
Ten Words For Snow appears on Saturday, June 5 at the Locker Room (3141 Caniff, Hamtramck; call 313-893-8088) with Lingua Franca and Hairshirt.
E-mail Michael Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org.