New Stories

Stream Your Heart Out: Slint

by Voshon Kendrick

Album: “Spiderland”

Genre: Experimental Rock

Tracks: “Breadcrumb Trail,” “Washer”

Louisville, Kentucky native band Slint, best known for their experimental and introspective take on rock music, pulls many of their influences from punk and early grunge rock.

Slint, comprised of five band mates, Brian McMahan, David Pajo, Britt Walford, Todd Brashear, and Ethan Buckler, create an amalgamation of systematic strikes on the electric guitar that dovetails with the drums very well.

While a simple google search categorizes the band as, “math rock,” “alternative,” and “post-hardcore,” their sound is just not that simple.

“Spiderland,” Slint’s sophomore LP that was released in 1991,  is comprised of six songs, all spanning between five and eight minutes long. \

This album has been influential in many senses to the rock genre in general. Not many bands are able to harness and create their own distinct sound as precisely as Slint did in the late 80s to early 90s.

The LP opens with “Breadcrumb Trail,” and immediately you’re submerged in Brian McMahan’s deadpan, quiet vocals beneath a thin veneer of sad plucked harmonic riffs.

The vocals of this piece, almost too quiet at times, tell a tale of a protagonist who, while at a carnival of sorts, turns down a fortune teller and opts for a ride on a rollercoaster. The song then erupts into a symphony of angry guitar riffs and heavy downbeats.

Dismal, angry, and dissonant riffs accompanied by dour abstract tales is the continuing theme of this 39 minute LP.

Exiting the album you get a good sense of what I’m talking about with “Good Morning, Captain.” Spanning between seven and eight minutes long, “Good Morning, Captain” ends the album on a low note when the listener is greeted by the captain of a ship who has lost his boat in a storm and is on the verge of death.

 

With his last words, the listener goes crashing into a crescendo of heavy bass and shrilling guitar rings.

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