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Slint - Spiderland CD (album) cover




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4.12 | 132 ratings

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5 stars I think this album is one of the ultimate artistic reflections of pain and darkness and decay, of both the band themselves, suffering through grueling recording sessions that drove them to the point of nervous breakdown, and of the environment that the band was in, the dirty and dying sides of Louisville. It is not just the second genesis of post rock, but in emotion and genre blending and art-from-adversity a true masterpiece and in its genre as unique a document as Talk Talk's two post defining albums.

"Tweez" in '89 showed a promising post-hardcore band through their fierce early math punk, but they suddenly decided to slow things down, hold fury back, and sprawl in a way never done before. They took an important early thread of the aptly named slowcore movement, that of a lethargic rock band who wasn't afraid to suddenly catapult into pitch and rage (see also Codeine's classic "Frigid Stars LP"), and did two now legendary things with this style and formula: one was to contort the slow side into something drawn out and more textural than riffy, perhaps also a corruption of "Spirit of Eden"'s guitar lines; and using what was left in them of their hardcore math for the rage moments. This of course proved doubly genre defining and makes for a depressedly beautiful and smashing record. Especially vital to this new form was also how sheerly angular it was, making everything about it in at least some small way connected to math with it's irregular time signatures in a way lost on most later post, similar to them also leaving Talk Talk's fusion side behind.

In spite of minimal takes during the sessions, the whole process proved brutal, refreshing as it was to the band themselves to hear their new sound, likely encouraging the particular atmosphere of the tracks. As well, due to this and not having written any lyrics beforehand, during the original compositional process, the band quickly threw together some suitably dark lyrics in the studio that were mainly spoken word; this proved the final piece of the puzzle, the last element to pull everything together, to make tracks like "Breadcrumb Trail" so immediately gripping and undeniably brilliant. The result is massively influential and the ultimate soundtrack to desolate countrysides and dying cities, a brilliantly formed and excellently played magnum opus.

LearsFool | 5/5 |


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