Spiderland review by Slint

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  • Released: Mar 27, 1991
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.4 (10 votes)
Slint: Spiderland

Sound — 9
In a world of genres pushing boundaries, taking technical ability beyond anything heard before and tempo's that seem infeasible, it would be easy to completely miss the point of Slint all together. Slint are undoubtedly a Post-Rock band, arguably among the first. Quiet, restrained and tasteful, the musicians work cohesively throughout without ever getting self-indulgent, and avoiding the cliches that associate progressive music. Using the quiet/loud dynamics usually associated with more brash Grunge bands of the time, Slint are able to turn lush soundscapes into harsh, distorted noise, creating some powerful climaxes, such as the "I miss you..." ending of 'Good Morning, Captain'.

Lyrics — 9
Brain McMahan's vocals contain the kind of subtlety rarely found in modern rock albums; frequently shifting between mumbled poetry and storytelling, right through to throat-shredding screams, the honesty that shines through is really something to behold. Not a word is lost throughout the whole album, which the listener is thankful for; eschewing the instrumental style of many bands within the genre they helped pioneer, instead raw human emotion drifts through your speakers, complimenting the instrumentation perfectly; this would sadly go on to be disingenuously by countless, faceless Emo bands pedalling angst disguised as reflection.

Overall Impression — 10
It's easy to get caught up in the hype when an album seems to have defined a genre, but even with that added kudos this record still stands as a meticulously crafted and emotionally draining experience. After the band imploded in 1991, Post-Rock found new leaders in the form of Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Explosions In The Sky, among countless others. Whilst the technical prowess of the genre has increased unendingly since Spiderland, the album still has a feel of true innovation and beauty surrounding it.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    A new review for an older album. Nicely written too. I gave this a listen after reading the gleaming recommendations online. It hits harder every time; I think it may have to do with seeing the album art every time I look at my iPod. Four heads of four guys submerged in water, completely isolated. This album is truly larger than life and its emotion is a hundred times more than it seems at first, like the tip of an iceberg, or the band in its album cover. Truly a class of its own.
    i love how like nobody on this entire site knows of this band. tweez is a great album too. a bit more like noise rock rather than post rock though. songs are short and dissoriented rather than long and ambient. great band either way though.