Slint: Spiderland (Touch And Go) - album review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Friday, November 27th, 2020  



Touch And Go

May 09, 2014 Web Exclusive
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Slint. You've heard of them, one assumes. The scope of their influence is difficult to overstate. In fact, you've heard it stated every which way, haven't you? They invented post-rock. They invented math-rock. They invented math. They invented prefixes. The sheer act of invention? Yeah, that was them, no bigs.

The reissue package is complete with a Bob Weston-remastered Spiderland; a slew of basement tapes and demos; a live Neil Young cover; a wonderful booklet of '80s and '90s Louisville and national punk-scene curios, flyers, and photographs; and Lance Bangs' Breadcrumb Trail documentarybut the net effect of it all is something beyond all that praise and exaltation. In a sense, it almost rejects the notion of the album's would-be future status, freezing it in time and zooming in tight on a crew of under-21 already-lifers existing in their own insular world, within an insular college town, within an insular indie-rock scene. Spiderland was merely one artifact among many, gleaned from basement after basement, from bands you may or may not have heard of, from a specific time and a place that culminated in Slint's second album. And it was an artifact swiftly left behind, with the group disbanding upon its release, unaware they'd crafted a bona fide Landmark Album.

And if you agree with that last capitalized assessment, you know this album. You know that pendulum-like minor-key dirge following Brian McMahan's mumbled "Don stepped outside" on "Don, Aman." Sing it. You know the incredibly concise, shit-tight drumming of young Britt Walford throughout, whichgoddamnis perhaps the single most traceable performance element when it comes to measuring influence on indie rock in the years following. You know that band buddy Will Oldham was the one with a penchant for black-and-white lake photography (and he pens a truly lovely introduction in the booklet). And, maybe more than anything, you know the absolutely visceral build and release of "Good Morning, Captain," its climax ("I miss you") a passage you can hear regularly foryikesdecades and never once make it through sans chills. And the real beauty of all the context provided here for this batch of songs is not that it extols or magnifies, but that it humanizes. Go make something. (‎)

Author rating: 10/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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