Slint
Spiderland


4.5
superb

Review

by Ryan Flatley EMERITUS
September 18th, 2007 | 1941 replies | 72,958 views


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Big Bang Theory of post-rock.

Who the fuck is Slint? Why should anyone even care about them? Well, they are four Kentucky natives that practically created the self-proclaimed genre of post-rock and probably the best thing to come from Kentucky as far as music is concerned. Maybe there is a reason to care about Slint and their 1991 masterpiece, Spiderland.

Throughout, the verses are generally spoken like the narration of a book or movie. The hypnotizing tone of Brian McMahan is often soft, but the effect it has on the music is irrevocable. “Breadcrumb Trail” is the first apparent sign of his vocal work as he talks about meeting a fortuneteller at an amusement park and the story of their adventure together in a story-telling tone of voice. Instrumentally, the guitars sound rarely similar between clean harmonic strums to begin the song and the ever-changing distorted guitar sections that trudge and shred as it rolls along, similar to the pace of the rest of the album. As it was said vaguely before, the use of harmonics is widespread throughout the album. With distortion added to the abundance of harmonic notes, it can be a piercing yet gorgeous tone present in songs like, “Nosferatu.” In addition, “Nosferatu,” has parts that are repetitive, but past the sludgy and continuing guitar sound, a subtle drum click or screeching guitar chords break the song into a different and equally mesmerizing direction. “Don, Aman” is perhaps the eeriest track on the album with slow and churning guitar strums accompanied by creepy narration making the drum-less atmosphere like a true horror story, eventually capped off with an unexpected musical change that make the song’s aura even better (it’s a surprise).

The two best songs on the album, with almost no contest, are “Washer” and “Good Morning, Captain.” Between the two of them, totaling over sixteen minutes of bliss, the journey is simply incredible. ‘Goodnight my love, remember me as you fall to sleep, fill your pockets with the dust and the memories that rises from the shoes on my feet. I won't be back here, though we may meet again.’ Word for word, that is how “Washer” begins (pfftt…how emo of them!). A somber beginning to such an enchanting song that lurks with a haunting beat that carries the song until its heavy and slam-you-in-your-face ending that slays the mood into just pure anger and a wall of sound for just over thirty seconds as it swings right back to where it started. It is the little moments such as that one, that make Slint who they are and great at what they do musically.

Well as if the whole album was not dark enough, “Good Morning, Captain” kind of eclipses everything else. There are darker albums and songs produced by different artists, but the likes of this song and album alike could easily become a soundtrack to a stalker/serial killer-esque movie. During this song, the tension slowly builds with each chord (that can be deceiving as to whether the final blast will eventually come) and then dissipates until the final momentous blows of the guitar and vocal screams. It is almost as if he signs like when it is urgent piece of the ongoing puzzle, and the greatest part is this is the final piece. It is a story that builds with each passing song and eventually erupts emotionally with the last wail of, ‘I miss you.’ After the final thunderous chords of “Good Morning, Captain,” everything suddenly came together and the album struck pure brilliance.

The evolution of post-rock has come a far deal away from what people generally think it really is about with bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Explosions in the Sky. Slint shows how what they started is limitless as to what direction post-rock can go and they began with a strong starting block. Slint’s Spiderland will be one of those records that the people who know it, will remember it for a long time. Who the fuck are you anyway?



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user ratings (1150)
Chart.
4.4
superb
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Snoopcow (5)
    ...

    derho (5)
    Chilling, engrossing, unlike anything you've ever heard. A true experience....

    Andrew Kaster (5)
    This is the antithesis to rock music; cold and calculated and bleached of all pretension, ...

    Alex Robertson STAFF (5)
    ...

  • bkahn (5)
    Spiderland is the Velvet Underground & Nico of the 1990's--it's influence on experimental ...

    joshuatree (5)
    Dark and beautiful, Slint's second album is an influential classic....

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Comments:Add a Comment 
plane
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2007



6085 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Sexy review.

I will look into this accordingly.

cometuesday
September 19th 2007



959 Comments


This is something I've been needing to get, thank you for inspiring me to get on that.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2007



16081 Comments


You've never heard this Lewis? Wtf?
The other shit Slint had wasn't that good, but this was really great. Nice review.

Apocalyptic Raids
September 19th 2007



810 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fucking awesome album.

Justanothernimrod
September 19th 2007



478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I saw this album performed live in Glasgow recently and it was, sadly a bit dissapointing.

'Washer' though, was absolutely incredible.

Still an amazing album.

Apocalyptic Raids
September 19th 2007



810 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

in what way did you find it disappointing?

Spectrum
September 19th 2007



347 Comments


I like this review. A good short-form number that reminded me of how much I need this album. Need it so bad.

Fort23
September 19th 2007



2474 Comments


pretty excellent album. Washer is soooo creepy. excellent review too.

The Jungler
September 19th 2007



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah I'm shocked you haven't heard this lewis.
I always overlook the lyrics when I listen to this, but they're really great (particularly Good Morning Captain's.) Nice review too.

iarescientists
September 19th 2007



5863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

[quote=lewis]I will look into this accordingly.[/quote]

Hello Lewis, I'm sorry, but the FBI has requested that you be stripped of all indie points.

Zebra
Moderator
September 19th 2007



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good work on the review, my only gripe about it is that you forgot to mention "For Dinner" which is in my opinion the weakest point on the album.


plane
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2007



6085 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hello Lewis, I'm sorry, but the FBI has requested that you be stripped of all indie points.

8(

MeowMeow
September 19th 2007



662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I have this but I haven't listened to it yet. Guess I should.

kidcannes
September 19th 2007



5 Comments


Nice review. I became genuinely curious in this band, and decided to investigate further.

Their style is really creepy, and obviously hides a lot of backstory.



IsItLuck?
Emeritus
September 20th 2007



4926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

read what Nosferatu Man said in the other review (page 1), the story is great.

Aficionado
September 20th 2007



1027 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This isn't even that great.

Two-Headed Boy
September 20th 2007



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's amazing watchootalkin'bout

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2007



16081 Comments


It is pretty amazing dude.

Aficionado
September 20th 2007



1027 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Maybe it will change with repeated listens. But no question, good morning captain is an epic song.

plane
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2007



6085 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, album rules.



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