Slint at the Crystal Ballroom

Vortex Music Magazine

The band that reinvited rock comes to Portland on August 28.

I was 6 years old when Slint’s seminal masterpiece Spiderland was released in 1991. It would be another two years until I first started cognitively recognizing "good" music; therefore, until recently, Spiderland and Slint existed in that vacuum of bands that had never been brought to my attention. But that doesn’t mean that I, nor you, have not heard Slint. Quite the contrary. As Dave Simpson wrote in his May 2014 article in The Guardian on the reissue of Spiderland:

"Slint have become modern rock's Velvet Underground: a band who created a ripple that kept spreading, influencing bands from Mogwai to Sigur Rós."

It is due to this outstretched influence that when you listen to Spiderland for the first time you sense a familiarity—so much so that it is not hyperbole to suggest that Slint literally invented an entire genre—post-rock—with the release of Spiderland, despite only selling 5,000 copies at the time. In that same Guardian article, not surprisingly subtitled "the album that reinvented rock," Simpson includes a quote by Slint guitarist David Pajo summarizing what legendary producer Steve Albini, who produced the album, predicted:

"He said: 'I don't think you guys will ever get big, but you'll be really influential.' I was thinking: 'You're fucking crazy.'"

That, again, was actually an understatement. Now this album—with its chilling narratives presented to the listener in hushed monotones backed by the rhythmic picking of guitar strings and occasionally accentuated by spine-rippling guitars riffs, pulsing drums and anguish-ridden vocals—has finally received the reissue treatment, and along with it, Slint are embarking on a comeback tour that stops by the Crystal Ballroom on Thursday, August 28.

If you’re not intrigued yet, you should be. And if you're already rearing to go, here’s what you should do: Run down to your favorite record store, pick up a copy of Spiderland on vinyl, listen, repeat, listen, repeat, and then come join me for a night serious Slint fans have been anticipating for more than two decades.

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