Ten Words For Snow
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Ten Words For Snow

Band Alternative Rock


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The best kept secret in music


"Ten Words For Snow - split 7" set"


"Ten Words For Snow has created a new twist in the split single. On this double disc release, they're sharing two separate singles with two different bands, Hairshirt and Sybris, along with matching record sleeves. The first disc features the noisy guitar/synth pop of TWFS's Garbage Truck, a driving song which drones along with anxious repetition...Record number two begins with a pop gem from TWFS called Shake You Off, which mixes melodic Brian Wilson-esque melodies and jangly indie guitar pop...While there's only four songs represented here, the whole package and concept makes it feel complete." - Mish Mash

"Ten Words For Snow - split 7" set"


"You’ve already heard Smother talking up Ten Words for Snow. And if you haven’t shame on you for not paying attention. Anyways, Ten Words for Snow team up with fellow indie rockers Hairshirt for a nifty split 7”...Ten Words for Snow give us their “Garbage Truck” rocker...Featuring Shannan Hibbard now as their full-time vocalist/keyboardist, Ten Words for Snow are back with an ability to rock out like never thought before. Harmonies are abound and dangle between melodies that are both catchy and somehow significantly unique even for indie rock..." - Smother.net

"Ten Words For Snow - D-Na LP review"

"...Despite the stranger moments on this album, and there are a few, D-Na is simply a pop-rock outfit with little need for overtly complex bits and pieces. "Sexy Grunge Story" opens the album with guitars that wobble between Mudhoney distortion and classic-rock riffs, and sets the stage for the rest of the album. D-Na is an indie-rock update of the timeless pop-rock ethos. "Brittle Girl" could be a lost Hüsker Dü track or a forgotten B-side by a forgotten Southern rock revival band. "It Will Hide Your Face" zooms with punk energy, but if you get past the tempos its four-on-the-floor riffs have a timeless quality that makes its origins difficult to pin down..."
- Aversion.com

"Ten Words For Snow - D-Na LP review"

"...Together these four individuals create music that sounds something like a cross between Guided By Voices, XTC, and The Beach Boys. The band's articulately crafted recordings seem to work as they have already built up a credible following and impressed reviewers across the country. One thing is certain...D-NA sounds nothing like other Detroit bands. These folks have managed to encapsulate influences from their favorite bands and recycle them with their own unique vision and style. The guitars and vocals are totally out-of-this-world..." - babysue

"Ten Words For Snow - D-Na LP review"

"...so brilliant that they will usurp the Beach Boys' accomplishments of the past and wipe their existence from Man's collective memory..." - Roctober

"Ten Words For Snow - Spit On Electrics EP"

"Ten Words for Snow (now, there's a challenging trivia question - I can't think of two words for snow, much less 10) are a Detroit quartet whose influences range from XTC, The Police, The Jam, to Blue Oyster Cult. For this debut EP, TWFS crank out some lo-fi late '70s/early '80s rock that goes down with ease. Quite simply, this is pop music that rocks, and I'm gonna go on record here and say that I wouldn't be surprised to hear some great full-length releases in this band's future." - Skratch Magazine

"Ten Words For Snow - Spit On Electrics EP"

"...Not only do they have one of the better names this critic has come across in some time, they have a smart, tight sound that hearkens back to those glorious late-'70s/early-'80s days of new wave and post-punk before grunge distortion turned all of pop-rock into sludge. TWFS's guitars may not be perfectly clean, but they're a lot closer than most, and when combined with tidy compositions and performances, it makes for a nice treat. ..." - Pop Matters

"Ten Words For Snow - Spit On Electrics EP"

"...Detroit collective evokes a bit of The Jam, a squidge of early XTC (Andy Partridge before the epic case of 1982 stage fright) and a touch of Boy-era U2 (especially on the opening "Painted Mouths")...great promise here..." - The Big Takeover

"Ten Words For Snow - Spit On Electrics EP"

"...It’s got that chunky kind of guitar fuzz and soaring harmonies that sound almost off kilter. And then you’re spun on your head ala Husker Du with some post-rock wooly wailings of guitar. So it’s a surprise they’re from Detroit typically renowned for their tough guy hip-hop, Mo-Town, and classic rock. What’s best is the delivery of sound waves to your ears - masterful production that doesn't sound overtly polished..." - Smother.net

"This is Pop?"


This is Pop?
by Ryan Allen
2/16/2005 (Metro Times)

The last place you’d expect to find smart, pop-minded rock — with influences ranging from Sonic Youth to the Police — would be from a metal band that writes such songs as “My Nordic Butt Can Ruin Nations.” But that’s exactly what you get with Detroit’s melodic-rock torchbearers, Ten Words for Snow.

After serving time in harder edged outfits like 7,000 Dying Rats (who, by the way, are the culprits for that Nordic butt and all the ruined nations), guitarist-vocalist Justin Berger, drummer Dave Melkonian and bassist Kraig Sagan started Ten Words for Snow. The band was an outlet for their growing interest in alternate tunings, hooky vocals and their urge to delve into the styles of XTC and Devo.

“After a short time away from playing, I wanted to start another band — this time, a band that focused on melody more than power, but still had interesting song structure and unique chord progressions. When you boil it all down, we all like the great hooks and driving rhythm, but being curious and voracious music fans, it’s inevitable that we would seek out more exciting types of music,” Melkonian says.

Good for them, because finding fresher ground is exactly what Ten Words for Snow has succeeded in doing. You can hear hints of U2 guitar heroics, the swooping rush of a Townshend-like power chord and the urgency of the Jam and Hüsker Dü stuffed into the band’s back pocket. But there’s a slightly futuristic slant to Ten Words’ snap, crackle, pop that keeps their debut EP, Spit on Electrics, from slipping into the retro repetition that plagues many of Detroit’s better-known outfits. Perhaps it’s the band’s lack of convention that keeps them forward-gazing.

“I think we want to have catchy vocal melodies. I’d say that’s our top priority,” Melkonian says. Typically, Berger writes a song, brings it to practice, and the band recasts it into a something they all can dig. “Justin gets a bit overly technical. But that’s part of what makes him a unique player.”

It seems as though it’s that push and pull of traditional vs. experimental that perpetuates the notion that Ten Words are somehow outcasts in a Detroit music scene. Melkonian thinks there’s probably some truth to this. He likes to categorize his band in a sub-genre of local acts like A Thousand Times Yes, the Trembling, P.A., Hairshirt and New Grenada — bands whose interests reside more in crafting quality music than how skinny their skinny tie should be.

“I’d like to think we fit somewhere, but I’m not exactly sure where,” Melkonian says. “We’ve been in this situation with every band we’ve been in. We’ve been in hardcore bands that were shunned by the straight-edge contingent because we ate meat and drank alcohol; we’ve been metal outcasts because we played around with time signatures and odd noises; and now we’re sort of on the outskirts again, but in a band that has some catchy elements people can hang on to. You’re not going to see us up there with costumes, wacky hair, ties, suits, etc. We just want to go on stage in our regular clothes and play our songs, hoping that the audience enjoys it in the process.”

Melkonian goes on to praise the group’s comrades in rock, saying, “We end up being connected to bands because we get along with them as people, not necessarily because our music is similar. Hairshirt is probably our most similar local peer; they’re a nice group of guys who do some really interesting and catchy stuff. New Grenada are great friends of ours; they are humble, loyal people.”

Humble and loyal themselves, but unafraid to wear their affection for their own music on their sleeves, these former head-bangers are getting a new lease on their musical lives. With the addition of full-time keyboardist Shannan Hibbard, two 7” records on the way and a bevy of shows scheduled, it’s possible that these nice guys won’t finish last.

“I think the public has a way of seeing through the bands that come by it honestly and the ones who are simply riding coattails,” Melkonian says. “Whatever level of success we achieve, it’ll be on our own terms. I think that’s really the only way we could stomach it.”

- Metro Times


"D-Na" LP
Contraphonic Records
Release date: Nov 11 2005

"One Scene To Another: Plumline Records' Tribute to Canadian Indie Rock (Various Artists)"
Plumline Records
"I Dig You" (Zumpano)
released: 04.19.05

Double split 7" set
Boyarm records
arm11avl (split w/Hairshirt)
arm11bvl (split w/Sybris)
released: 3.15.05

"Boyarm Does Devo" (Devo cover song CD)
Limited edition of 200
Boyarm records
"The Day My Baby Gave Me A Suprise"

"Spit On Electrics", 6-song EP
Boyarm Records
release date: 4.20.04

"Fundraising for the Field Trip #1 (Various Artists)"
Boyarm Records
release date: 6.14.02


Feeling a bit camera shy


Since 2000, Suburban Detroit's unique collection of sound carpenters build textured music with an emphasis on melody and precision.

That being said, here's what you probably want to know the following:

Q. Who have we played with
A. Outrageous Cherry, Manishevitz, Marjorie Fair, The High Dials, The Kingsbury Manx, The Standard, Claire De Lune, Dropsonic, The Young and Sexy, The Plus Ones, and many more.

Q. What do you sound like?
A. Various music reviewers have compared us to XTC, The Shins, Guided By Voices, The Police, The Cars, Sloan, Sugar, Husker Du, Superchunk, and even Blue Oyster Cult. We play rock and sing with melody and harmony. How's that?

NEWS: We signed with Contraphonic records and are really happy to be on board. Our new LP will come out in November and it's called "D-Na". It really rocks in fun ways. Like Boston meets The Buzzcocks. Or Journey meets Jawbox. Or Supertramp meets Sloan. Or...