SLINT began in 1986. Before that, drummer Britt Walford, guitarist David Pajo, guitarist/vocalist Brian McMahan, and original bassist Ethan Buckler had played together in various bands within the tight-knit Louisville Punk scene. Brian and Britt formed their first band Languid and Flaccid in middle school, when Britt was just eleven. The older punks collapsed in fits of laughter when Britt and Brian’s dads carried in their amps and set them up on stage. Languid and Flaccid also featured Ned Oldham, later of the Anomoanon and older brother to Will Oldham a.k.a. Bonnie Prince Billy. Everyone in the band traded instruments from song to song. Brian and Britt also played in the beloved melodic hardcore band Squirrel Bait.
SLINT’s first show was during a service at the Unitarian Universalist church that Ethan’s parents attended. Even the people who held their ears told the band afterward how much they enjoyed it. In 1987, SLINT recorded their first album, Tweez, in Chicago with Steve Albini, who also produced albums for the Pixies, PJ Harvey, and Nirvana. Tweez was released on the minuscule Jennifer Hartman Records and Tapes label in 1989 and later reissued by Touch and Go Records in 1993.