When Slint's second and most-lauded album, Spiderland, was released in March 1991, the Louisville, Kentucky, band had been broken up for about six months. The band made no videos to promote the record, did no interviews, and got little or no college-radio airplay. Three years later, two songs it had recorded with producer Steve Albini before making Spiderland were finally released as an untitled 10-inch EP. The cover looked like a crime-scene photo shot from God's perspective - one more piece of cryptic evidence from one of indie rock's most mysterious bands.
Before breaking up, Slint had played only about 30 live shows. The number of people who saw them play could probably fit inside a Taylor Swift concert. But Spiderland made converts after the fact. People passed it along, like a ghost story. There were rumors the band had been killed in a car accident, or that the members had all been institutionalized after making the record. Over time, as they began turning up in new bands, those tall tales faded, but the myth of Spiderland didn't. The music made the strangest stories seem believable. There were trace elements of hardcore punk in it, but the songs unfolded in odd time signatures, marked by jarring bursts of noise and equally unsettling blasts of silence. Some almost unnameable dark force seemed to lurk just beyond the borders of each song, like a monster out of Lovecraft.