Slint at Pitchfork Music Festival on July 13, 2007
|Origin||Louisville, Kentucky, United States|
|Years active||1986–1992, 2005, 2007, 2013–present|
|Labels||Touch and Go|
Slint is an American rock band consisting of Brian McMahan (guitar and vocals), David Pajo (guitar), Britt Walford (drums and vocals), Todd Brashear (bass on Spiderland), and Ethan Buckler (bass on Tweez). They formed in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, in 1986. Slint's first album Tweez was recorded by legendary engineer Steve Albini in 1987 and released in obscurity on the Jennifer Hartman Records label in 1989. It was followed two years later by the critically acclaimed Spiderland, released on the independent label Touch and Go Records. Though they have never recorded since 1991, they are considered by critics and musicians alike to be a major influence on the post-hardcore, math rock, and post-rock scenes, Spiderland alone being cited as one of the landmark records of the 1990s and as among the greatest albums of all time.
They have reunited sporadically since 2005.
Walford and McMahan began performing music together at an early age, forming Languid and Flaccid with Ned Oldham (later of The Anomoanoan) while still in middle school. Walford and McMahan later played together in the seminal Louisville punk band Squirrel Bait, though Walford left the band following their first recording session. Prior to Slint, Pajo and Walford (and, briefly, McMahan) were also in the band Maurice with future members of Kinghorse. Walford, Pajo, and Buckler played their first show together in 1985 under the name Small Tight Dirty Tufts of Hair.
Tweez and Spiderland
Slint's first album Tweez was recorded by Steve Albini in 1987 and released in obscurity on the Jennifer Hartman Records label in 1989. Original copies of the Tweez LP included a flyer advertisement for an unreleased 12" single on Jennifer Hartman that the band recorded in 1989. However the band had signed to Touch & Go Records before it was sent to press and the master tapes were shelved.
Recorded by Brian Paulson, Spiderland is considered a seminal work, characterized by dark, syncopated rhythms, sparse guitar lines and haunting subject matter. The record's impact was such that many fans and critics have suggested it is the first true post-rock album, helping to usher in a new wave of bands seeking a move away from the unfettered aggression of hardcore punk but not its underlying ethic. The cover of Spiderland is from a series of photos of the band taken by the Louisville actor/musician Will Oldham. Spiderland culminates in the baleful "Good Morning, Captain", perhaps their most recognized track (it would later feature on the soundtrack to the Larry Clark film Kids). Touch and Go Records reissued Tweez in 1993.
Finally, in 1994 a brief untitled EP was released after the band broke up. The two songs, a reinterpretation of "Rhoda" from Tweez, and the previously unreleased track "Glenn", being those from the shelved tapes that the band had recorded between their two albums.
Members of Slint have since appeared in a number of bands. In 2009, former guitarist David Pajo performed with Yeah Yeah Yeahs as a live back-up musician. He briefly played bass in Interpol, and performs under the moniker PAJO and occasionally with his band Papa M. Pajo has also been a member of Dead Child, Tortoise, Palace, The For Carnation, and the short-lived Billy Corgan-fronted rock band Zwan. Guitarist Brian McMahan formed The For Carnation in 1994 and also played with Will Oldham in Palace. Britt Walford played drums in Evergreen, and for The Breeders under the pseudonym Shannon Doughton on the album Pod and as Mike Hunt on the Safari EP. Ethan Buckler plays in King Kong (the original line up of Slint makes up King Kong on the 1989 7" "Movie Star").
Nearly fifteen years after disbanding, three members of Slint — Brian McMahan, David Pajo, and Britt Walford — reunited to curate the 2005 All Tomorrow's Parties (ATP) music festival in Camber Sands, England. Also in 2005, Slint played a number of shows in the U.S. and in Europe. Though they insisted the reunion was short-term, the band regrouped once again in 2007 to perform Spiderland in its entirety in Barcelona as part of the Primavera Sound Festival, in London as part of the ATP Don't Look Back series of shows, as well as at a handful of dates in Europe, the U.S. (at Chicago's Pitchfork Music Festival, the Showbox in Seattle, and the Henry Fonda Theatre in Hollywood), and Canada. In addition to performing the album and the EP Slint, they also debuted a new composition called "King's Approach", which remains unrecorded.
In a September 2012 interview conducted with Northern Irish music publication AU Magazine, David Pajo hinted at more activity from the band in the coming months: "We still communicate regularly and we've got some surprises for next year that fans will be excited about. I know I am."
In an August 2013 interview with Vish Khanna, former producer Steve Albini revealed that the band was working on remastering their second album Spiderland with producer Bob Weston. The deluxe Spiderland boxset was announced in January 2014. It includes the 90-minute documentary Breadcrumb Trail, directed by Lance Bangs. In 2014, the band also performed at the Primavera Sound music festival in Spain and Portugal and Green Man Festival in Wales.
- Brian McMahan — guitar, vocals
- David Pajo — guitar
- Todd Brashear — bass
- Britt Walford — drums, guitar, vocals
- Ethan Buckler — bass (1986-1987)
Live members (2005, 2007)
- Michael McMahan — guitar
- Todd Cook — bass
- Matt Jencik — bass
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[...] But, the second album by the post-hardcore Kentuckians sure didn't 'kick' anything; its influence rather devoid of immediacy. [...]
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