Saturday, December 6, 2008

Slint - "Carol" - From the Album Tweez

Slint Tweez CD cover It's a horror song.

Movies belonging to the Friday the 13th franchise notwithstanding, most horror lies in the things that are not told, the events that lie past the edge of the picture frame.

The camera in a horror film transmits the sense of terror not by focussing on the events, but rather at the reaction to them. The zombies come knocking, and the first thing you see is not the undead, but the anguished, horrified face of the poor lady who answered the door. It is the reaction to the unspeakable that transmits terror to us.

Not that I think there's anything supernatural about Slint's song. The horror is entirely man-made, I'm pretty sure. But true to what I'm saying, it is also entirely transmitted by the reactions our singer/narrator is having, how he's falling to pieces just trying to tell us.

First it's "past where they paint the houses," a statement of location. But rather quickly it's "PAST WHERE THEY PAINT THE HOUSES!!!" the same words, but now imbued with dread at some nameless horror.

What the fuck is going on?

What did you find there, past where they paint the houses? What did you see, out in the middle of nowhere, past where the silos stand?

We're never told, but we can guess, right? Or you can guess, and I can guess, and the horror will lie in the details that exist at the edges of our individual imaginations.

The whispered part in the middle of the song only gives us a whisp of a clue:

Take away, something that you know.
The reason, that you're always there.
Use it, 'til you're through.
But remember, when the time comes,
You got to let go.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Tweez was released in 1989, and was Slint's debut effort. Seven of the eight songs on the record were named after one of the band member's parents, which is where you get "Carol," who happened to be guitarist Brian McMahan's mother.

The followup they released in 1991, Spiderland, sounds an awful lot like "Carol," with its dark snakelike bass, scratchy guitars, lyrics mostly spoken rather than sung, and gloomy subject matter. They broke up without releasing anything else in 1993, though recently they've done some reunion shows.

Slint - Tweez - 3 - Carol.mp3

This file was removed January 17, 2009. If you're still way interested in coming up with a copy of this--and really can't figure out where you might get one--drop me an email and I'm sure I'll be able to figure something out for you.

File under: Nosferatu Men

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