I was working in a used bookstore in Pasadena, California at the time…

It was a cold, gloomy day for Los Angeles. The regulars had shuffled out, and the infrequent rainfall was enough to keep the passers-by minding their business and staying on route and schedule. I had a couple hours before my shift ended and was done with the Gang of Four record I had already flipped a few times. It was time for something new. I dug through the precarious stacks of CDs my boss an coworkers left behind amidst the rubble of magazines and receipts until I stumbled upon one that appeared more tranquil than the rest: four men treading water, most of which we’re smiling. This was a near deceptive image when compared to the shear sonic force the album carried. I continued with my job, even with powerful screeching and mumbled lyrics whirling high in the stratosphere of the tiny store (music my employer found too great a repellant for our customers). Without yet fully realising that I was not alone, a friend and musical companion shouted up the stepladder to me, with a level of enthusiasm I had never before heard from him, “oh damn, man! You listen to Slint?!”

While anecdotes alluding to a first listening have become trite and are often superfluous, hearing that tone an enthusiasm from a man that I shared most waking moments with (often doing no less than chain-smoking while creating/discussing our latest musical ventures) was a bit of a shock. I soon after came to realise that experience embodied the impact Slint had on musicians my age within our little subculture. Slint somehow managed to stay in my periphery for years, yet all the while they were shaping the ideas of my peers and predecessors. They were completely off the grid through my life–I had never heard of them and they were never mentioned. Yet somehow through inquiry, I discovered that my closest friends and band mates had been life-long fans, and I quickly discovered that while not many had known of the band, everyone that explored enough to find them had internalized and adopted their music.

Later that night in the library of a mansion, Tweez was played for me so that I would fully absorb the discography. It didn’t take long for me to begin to realise the role Slint’s music had in influencing the albums I had become so fond of. Slint can be recognised by disjunctive change, wholesome timbres and seemingly diegetic noises ranging anywhere from the vocal mumbling style to shattering glass. If you can decode either of the vocal extremes, the lyrics are profound and read quite close to poetry set to music (and as thorough in depicting scenery and situations as the likes of veterans Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits). Slint became a missing link in music evolution: the ancestor to what I myself had been attempting to create. The music was powerful for us that night, just as those two albums are still so meaningful am never diminished in their influential relevance. So familiar to the styles I have adopted, I hear Slint echo through my past and present as there has always been a faint resemblance.

Contextualising the music to its era, we see exactly why the band was met with such praise: no one was making music the way they were, and to this day, that claim stands strong.