Music / Slint
"Here is the typical way a new fan of Slint experiences the band. First you buy Spiderland, because that's the album everyone talks about. And you are blown away by it and vow to purchase everything anyone associated with this band has ever done. So you naturally go to
Tweez next. It's
not Slint - not
your Slint. You buy The Breeders' first album,
Pod, because Slint's drummer plays on the record. It's good, but it's
not Slint. Meanwhile you've picked up a For Carnation album (ex-Slint!), Tortoise's
Millions Now Living Will Never Die (ex-Slint!), and maybe one or two Papa M discs (ex-Slint!) - maybe you even tracked down that Evergreen album (ex-Slint!). They're
- Scott Tennant
is an American Alternative Rock
band from Kentucky, usually given credit for jump-starting the Post-Rock
genre along with Talk Talk
, as well as the Math Rock
genre. The band formed in 1986 from the ashes of Hardcore Punk
group Squirrel Bait, with Brian McMahan (guitar and vocals), David Pajo (guitar), and Britt Walford (drums) staying strong throughout the band's existence. The bassist would always be separate session musicians that would travel with the band.
They released their first album, Tweez
to lukewarm reviews in 1989. Then, in 1991, they found their style and released their landmark album, Spiderland
, which came on the heels of a year of landmark albums along with Nirvana
, My Bloody Valentine
, and so on, and became very influential to Post-Rock
alongside Talk Talk
's Laughing Stock
After the album the entire band went through a Creator Breakdown
. It is rumored that the brooding sound of Spiderland
combined with pressure from the record company caused two of the members to be institutionalized during recording. What makes this especially creepy is the fact that all the band members were in stable mental condition prior to the recording. Nevertheless, this stress affected the band and in 1991 they disbanded. Pajo went on to join Tortoise and Zwan for a while after that, and Walford was briefly a member of The Breeders
They've had three reunions. One in 2005 and another in 2007, but no new material is rumored, although they did perform a new song entitled "King's Approach" during their 2007 shows. A third reunion began in 2013, and the band has hinted at the possibility of new material. Spiderland
has been reissued with two bonus discs.
Slint contains examples of the following tropes:
- all lowercase letters: The liner notes of Spiderland.
- Brown Note: Spiderland was this for the band.
- Buffy Speak: In the lyrics for "Breadcrumb Trail" - "I pulled back the drape thing on the tent..."
- Careful with That Axe: The ending of "Good Morning, Captain" and the chorus of "Nosferatu Man."
- Cloudcuckoolander: Britt, as Breadcrumb Trail memorably demonstrated.
- Call-Back: The raging guitars toward the middle of "Good Morning, Captain" echo the guitar part of the chorus of "Breadcrumb Trail."
- Creepy Monotone
- Darker and Edgier: Spiderland.
- Epic Rocking: "Glenn" (6:17), the EP version of "Rhoda" (6:53), "Washer" (8:50), and "Good Morning, Captain" (7:39).
- "Don, Aman" (6:28) seems like it fits the trope on paper, but the track is actually just vocals and guitar.
- "King's Approach" (mentioned above, currently not yet released) is generally slightly over ten minutes long in live performances.
- Gainax Ending: Spiderland. What exactly is happening at the end of "Good Morning, Captain"?
- Genre-Busting: Even for post-rock.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: They named nearly all of the songs on Tweez after their parents. "Rhoda" is the one exception, as it was named after Britt Walford's dog.
- I Love the Dead: "Nosferatu Man." Maybe.
- Interquel: The Untitled EP was made of two songs that were recorded in 1989, two years after Tweez was recorded. It was released in 1994, years after the band had broken up, and is a good insight into Slint's musical evolution from Tweez to Spiderland.
- Lyrical Cold Open: 'Don, Aman': "Don stepped outside"
- New Sound Album: Spiderland.
- Non-Appearing Title: Almost none of their songs feature song titles in the lyrics. "Washer" being the lone exception.
- Perishing Alt-Rock Voice: So perishing Brian didn't so much sing as mumble spoken-word narration most of the time, and fell ill due to the strain of yelling the climax of "Good Morning, Captain".
- Rockumentary: Breadcrumb Trail.
- Scary Musician, Harmless Music: Inverted. Despite the music featured on Spiderland, the band members were a bunch of 21-year-old goofballs who stuck a bunch of signs at the back of their van, played a gig at a local church, deliberately took an hour to set up at a high school talent show, and made an "Anal Breathing" tape.
- Shrouded in Myth: Due to the band's semi-reclusive nature, creepy sound, nearly limited info, and their reputation as Short-Lived Big Impact Spiderland sounds all the more mysterious.
- Spoken Word in Music: Like narration drawn out as the music gets darker with the narration? You're in luck.
- Step Up to the Microphone: "Don, Aman" has vocals and guitar by their drummer Britt Walford.
- Team Shot: The iconic album cover of Spiderland.
- Trope Maker: Of Post-Rock (along with Talk Talk) and Math Rock.
- Uncommon Time: They are also labeled "Math Rock" for a reason. You might need diagrams to keep track of all their time signature changes.
- "Nosferatu Man" starts in 6/4, then 5/4, then 3/4, then 5/4, then 3/4, then swapping between 12/8 and 15/8, then 9/8, then 10/4, then 12/8, then changing between 18/8 and 12/8, before ending in 21/8.
- "Breadcrumb Trail" is in 7/4, then 4/4, then 7/4 again, then 4/4 again, and then alternates between 12/8 and 15/8 during the distorted parts, then 4/4 again, then 10/4, then 4/4, then 12/8 for one last time before heading back into the original 7/4-4/4-7/4 segment again.
- The Un-Smile: Spiderland's iconically creepy cover◊ shows the band treading water in a lake in an abandoned quarry near their hometown Louisville with deranged barely-smiling facial expressions.
- Whole Plot Reference: "Good Morning, Captain" is based on The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.