Louisville, Kentucky, band Slint have long been an enigma. Lance Bangs’s documentary Breadcrumb Trail devotes its 93 minutes to demystifying these often emulated but never equaled post-rock greats while also offering a brisk history of their city’s fecund punk-rock scene and its inhabitants’ “insane” (Slint fan Ian MacKaye’s word) nature. Breadcrumb’s a revelation for obsessive Slint aficionados, tracing the band’s origins in a 1980 experimental public school that treated students like adults. Bangs moves chronologically through Slint members’ early musical machinations as absurdly precocious prepubescents; it turns out they were gifted with ears for the unusual right from the jump. The phenomenal chemistry among Britt Walford, David Pajo, Brian McMahan, and Todd Brashear culminated in 1991’s consensus masterpiece, Spiderland (cut in one weekend), but the band split before Touch and Go released it, and the album slid into cultish obscurity.
[Breadcrumb Trail screens tonight and Sat. April 5 at Grand Illusion.]