Slint established its earliest roots when, in 1981, at the ages of eleven and twelve, guitarist Brian McMahan and drummer Britt Walford began playing together in Louisville, KY. In 1984, Britt Walford and guitarist David Pajo started collaborating musically at the ages of fourteen and sixteen. 1985 saw the origination of Slint itself, the band then comprising Britt Walford, David Pajo, and bassist Ethan Buckler. Brian McMahan joined the following year.
In 1987, Slint recorded their debut album, Tweez, with Steve Albini behind the board in Chicago and released it on the short-lived and enigmatic Jennifer Hartman Records and Tapes label. At this time, Ethan Buckler departed and was replaced on bass by Todd Brashear.