Don't come for the tunes. Indeed, the weirdest thing about Slint, a critically- lauded, post-rock outfit from Louisville, Kentucky, who last released an album in 1991, is that they were always more influential with their sound than they were with their compositions.
Mogwai, The Frames, Silver Mt. Zion - these are just some of the bands to have taken their cue from Brian McMahan and chums' dynamic guitar riffs and signature, quiet-one-minute, loud-the-next refrains.
But at least Glen Hansard (in attendance this evening) and the others remembered the importance of melody.
We only ever got two records out of Slint, and though this scattered reunion (their third since calling it quits in '92) might yet take them somewhere interesting, the only thing it currently proves is that the group was never really up to much in the song- writing department.
This has been an eventful year for Slint (their Spiderland album was re-released, with a feature-length documentary included). If tonight's stage 'banter' is in any way a reflection on the kind of interviews featured in said documentary, then remind me to give it a miss.
A bloated, long-winded instrumental (Glenn) kicks things off. It's a taste of what's to come. Breadcrumb Trail is better, all screeching guitars, scattered percussion and vocal howls. But McMahan's angst-ridden, spoken-word efforts are wasted this evening (seriously dude, you could be listing off what you had for dinner - we can't hear you over the distortion).
What a shame, too, that the lads just stand there, staring at their feet. Occasionally, it looks as though McMahon might actually lose himself (the engrossing Washer almost gets him). Alas, it isn't to be.
It's an astonishingly dull display, void of all charisma and charm. Sure, everyone does their best to keep in line with David Pajo's searing fretwork and Britt Walford's complicated beats, but does any of it actually go anywhere?
Nope. And give over with the ssh-ing on the floor, folks - if the guys aren't going to say anything while they tune their instruments, then we might as well talk amongst ourselves.
Oh, and there are teenagers busking on Grafton Street that could come up with something more imaginative than the staggeringly depressive Don, Aman. Important band and all, but life is too short to spend an hour looking for a decent song. hhiii