Slint is a well-known name for a good reason. Spiderland is one of the earliest and most classic indie/post-rock albums, and the various members, with all their talents, moved on to play parts in many excellent bands. Tortoise, Palace, Papa M/Aerial M, and a few more all featured a Slint member, and many more bands were seriously influenced by Slint's dark, elaborately constructed songwork. The For Carnation is one of the splinter bands, formed by guitarist Brian McMahan. When you press play, it's hard not to be surprised by the ... quietness of it. But then, Slint's best songs featured a prominent quiet-to-loud component, and the quiet parts were just as well crafted as the loud.
Now, don't expect a Slint record - it's more like what Kepler would be like if the songwriter was evil instead of disaffected. And I mean that in the best way. The songs are very carefully done, the instrumentation is sparse but well-chosen, and the vocals, when they're there, are whisper-quiet but menacing and full of import. The first track is a little slow to start, I'm afraid, but if you stick with it, it hits a nice groove. "A Tribute To" is one of the best tracks, exemplifying the confident, restrained sound this album has. "Being Held" is a sort of creepy instrumental led by a looped bell of some sort, good but not worth a mention outside this sentence. "Snoother" put me off by its false start (sounds off-key) but it soon gets into beautiful territory, as does the final track, "Moonbeams," which grows slowly but nicely and was originally my favorite track. I'm not sure what to think about "Tales (Live from the Crypt)" which has a totally different sound - well, not totally different, but using more twiddly knobs and a little vocoder. It's still good, but I wonder if it shouldn't have been left on the cutting room floor.
In summary, this is an excellent album, but not for everybody. It's great songwriting but it's pretty slow and might make your friends think you're depressed - or planning something. Don't worry about them, though. Just download this, it's a fantastic song from a great album.
Here's "A Tribute To," by The For Carnation.
p.s. it comes to my attention that The For Carnation has at least two other albums. I'm definitely checking them out now, and you should too.