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4.3 out of 5 stars18
4.3 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 10 January 2004
I bought "Spiderland" on the same day as Codeine,s "Frigid Stars". If you are one of those less enlightened people who equate "depressing music" with being depressed that you,d have thought that was a real bummer of a day. On the contrary i was as happy as Robbie Williams in front of a full length mirror. Two stone cold classics in one day. Memories are made of this.
"Spiderland" shares "Frigid Stars" same wracked emotional landscape but is if anything even more bereft of hope.Skeletal guitars which are fleshed out by sudden squalls of caustic noise adorn this album. The sound is stark and unembellished. The vocals are mostly spoken in a tired resigned voice,dry as autumn leaves after an Indian summer.When the torpor is lifted by guitars that squeal like a stuck pig or the vocals rise to a pitiful howl its startling.
Never is this more superbly illusrated than on the albums undoubted highlight "Good Morning Captain" A plangent guitar motif gives way to a precise rolling drunbeat.The voice is innervated,bled of all emotion. The guitars occasionally morph into discordant streams of uncluttered noise. Then at the songs epoch they surge and seethe and the vocallist screams, and i mean really screams....a howl of such pain and anguish it travels up your spine like a bullet.I kid you not, it,s one of the greatest moments in the history of recorded music.
Needless to say it,s worth owning this album for that track alone and it,s one tiny problem is that nothing else comes near to matching it. In terms of consistency "Frigid Stars" is actually the superior work but at these elevated levels of artistry it,s fairly irrelevant."Spiderland"is a landmark release and listening to it again for the first time in a long time for the purposes of this review has been a draining experience.It remains with you long after the last note has faded and that is the mark of all truly great music.
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on 28 October 2000
I bought this classic album back in 1991 and am always moved by the depth, subtlety and power of the music. Dynamics are strong throughout, with beautifully constructed, sublime guitar riffs and chords, and expressive, sometimes delicate rhythms. Vocals range from softly spoken renditions of personal experiences to intense, powerful expressions of angst. Understated and played with genuine intent and purpose, a range of emotions are expressed and felt by the listener.
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on 2 August 2015
Many other reviewers have already expressed my own thoughts on this momentous and brilliant album so I won't try to equal their efforts merely to add some personal observations.
First it is timeless and the band still re-convenes infrequently to play it live, indeed the studio album has a "recorded live" feel to it.
Secondly, to me listening to the overall feel and structure it bears a striking resemblance to King Crimson's "Larks Tongues in Aspic" in the length and pattern of the tracks and inasmuch that it works better when listened to as a whole rather than as individual songs.
Beginning with the quietly ominous "Breadcrumb Trail" and winding through inexorably to the denouement of "Good Morning Captain" I like to think of it as a musical "Blair Witch Project" where branches snap and twigs crackle for no obvious reason and we don't get to see what it is we've been terrified of until the very last scenes.
Repeated listening is rewarding as one becomes familiar with every nuance and note, the silences and the sudden changes in mood and volume.
Considering the relative youth of the band members at the time of recording it is remarkable for its longevity, maturity and precociousness. Indeed it
may be that twenty years on the band themselves have only recently grown into understanding the greatness of what they created.
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on 26 October 2003
No need to say that this is a classic. I agree that Good Morning Captain is the best track. If you like it, than I STRONGLY recommend that you get the first album from June of 44, 'Engine takes to the water'. It's the most Spiderland-sounding album that I know of, and it's better than Rodan in my opinion (the first track is amazing, almost a reprise of Good Morning Captain). Of course you can also check out Mogwai, which also have been influenced a lot by Slint.
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on 11 October 2008
One of the few things Pitchfork gets right, Spiderland is both one of the most "important" rock albums (whatever that means) as well as one of the best. It lives in its own universe, and sounds like nothing else even though so many people were influenced by it.

I won't try to take it apart track-by-track, as this is a concept album (the good kind). All you need to know is that it is crushingly intense and hypnotic.

Oh, and you _really_ have to play it loud, or it won't have the same impact.
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on 12 July 2002
I got hold of this way back in 1991, and since then it has been at the top of my all time favourite lps. Like Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation or Nirvana's Nevermind, Spiderland is in a class of its own.Beautifully crafted,seemless and filled with atmosphere found nowhere else on record. Spiderland influence on todays music is undeniable (Mogwai, June of 44, Labradford, even steve albini's Shellac to name a few). All i can say is that you need this record in your life, and if you already have it, go and buy it for someone and change thier life...the perfect gift.
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on 15 September 2008
Hell, this record is so good, I got it on cd, lp and a back up copy on minidisc just in case... if my house were on fire I would save the vinyle before my housemates - and I like them.

Just listened to the vinyl again today and it rips the hell out of so much other stuff, this makes my all-time top 10...
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on 19 February 2009
Personally I can't see how anyone couldn't like this, then again I also can't see how anyone could think that mullets look good or that Coldplay's new album 'wasn't that bad' or that Marge Simpson doesn't look attractive with her hair down.
I love this album. Tweez, I believe, is equally good.
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on 20 June 2015
Powerful. Perhaps the first post rock album. I don't know but I know that it's not like anything else. Some of it sounds like they are still tuning up!
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on 9 April 2016
post rock classic, the track ' captain ' is still on my playlist
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