Clark (you may or may not know him) always said that Slint was ahead of even our time. That is to say, while some people in the eighties and just after were having dreams of making quiet noisy instrumental subvocal rock and having it become even vaguely popular, Slint had woken up from the dream, made the records, and gone back to bed (although, I guess, yes Talk Talk
and all, but they and Slint are practically a world a part). This was before post-rock
was even a word. Pre-post-rock. Imagine how exciting it must've been to be at the cusp of all those meaningless prefixes.
Man... or Astro-Man?'s big haha premise included a bit about them bringing us the music of the future in metered doses. If you are not weened on it, the music of the future will likely carbonize your brain. Slint was a little like that.
Even today, the future!, Slint's like that.
But just now in any major city in the United States, and probably even a few places in the Midwest, you can walk into an indie rock club on a Thursday night and hear the locals try their hand at being like these guys. They're the indie rock equivilent of Zeppelin.
Somebody once told me that, if I liked Slint, I should really check out US Maple, so I punched him in the face. That's my personal preference, but I assure you, Slint is the tits, the reason God done gave this green earth the righteous gift of feedback.
I had a pretty drunken conversation with a punk once who told me Slint was mathrock, and though I couldn't see why it mattered, I understood what he was saying. Where mathrock is dispassionate, though, Slint bounces. There's something to it, a lot like the appeal of being electrocuted. A lot like mainlining butane. Like a night in the Black Lodge. Like being slugged in the back of your head by your lover.
There's a Beat quality to it. Maybe a band nowadays would read some Bukowski over this music. Maybe they'd do that since Slint beat them to all the quality words: pockets, blushing, piss, bloodstained ice, pirate ships, railed like a red coal train. These guys understood and explored the intrinsic relationship between music and poetry. They adored dissonance. They are trying to make you feel uncomfortable. They hated CDs, and printed them blank, so if you're not paying attention, you put the album in upside down and get nothing at all. Clark got sick of it. He had a single dot of brown nail polish or something on the "label" side.
I listen to my copy of Tweez on days where outside passage is impossible. I dig out Spiderland when existence itself seems improbable. Their liner notes suggest the music sounds better on vinyl. It probably depends on your stereo system, but it's important you realize this is a band that cares about That Sort of Thing. That will either sell you on or turn you off. For the good of your heart, I hope it sells.
Slint came along and left their beautiful thing behind and then went their separate ways, seeding themselves in bands what would perpetuate the post-rock whatever: Tortoise, Mogwai, The For Carnation, various Will Oldham incarnations, even The Breeders and Zwan. Even my cousin who is missing a toe can count all the songs they dedicated to tape together on his hands and feet. This may sound like a pretty sad thing but what is important is they left us their shoes and it is probably for the world's benefit that some fairly amazing people have been attempting to fill them.
Clark had the lyrics to Good Morning Captain taped to his fridge. Sometimes, Clark, it takes me a while to get these things, but by God I hope you know I have been a better person since I started understanding all this.
PS Clark, you're an asshole.