If you've read my book on Spiderland, you know that one of my main arguments in the opening chapter is that the significance of Squirrel Bait in the pre-Slint soup is somewhat overstated, considering David Grubbs wrote the majority of that band's music and lyrics and that Brian McMahan and Britt Walford were not really in the band at the same time. But there's a recorded documentation of Squirrel Bait and all those names are in the liner notes, so there you go. Rather, in my interviews for the book, it was made pretty clear to me that another band had a much more direct tie to Slint: Maurice.
Maurice was a heavy, aggressive metal band originally started by Britt Walford, Brian McMahan, and Ned Oldham and featuring Sean "Rat" Garrison on lead vocals. That early incarnation lasted not very long—Oldham was replaced by a guy named Mike Bucayu (who along with Rat would later form Kinghorse), and McMahan was replaced by David Pajo. I've written a little about this on the blog before, and you can still read an excerpt from the book detailing the earliest period in Slint's history at the 33 1/3 blog.
The thing about Maurice, though, is that they never did any proper recordings, so their place in Slint's history is easy to overlook. That's why I'm happy to report that David Pajo has recently made their one and only demo—recorded on a boombox at the specific request of one Glenn Danzig—available to all.
As with most things Slint-related, you should prepare yourself for something that sounds nothing like Slint whatsoever. Maurice was a metal band. The songs on the demo hardly hint at the Slint you most wish you could have more of (ie, Spiderland). Here and there, like toward the end of "The Struggle," you can hear small hints of things to come on Tweez—Walford's insane drumming and Pajo's compulsive need to play as many artificial harmonics as possible—but even so it's not made transparant that this band might turn into Slint. (It is a fact, however, that the final song Maurice wrote became the first Slint song, "Pat," but this demo predates that song. To my knowledge, the Maurice version of that song was never recorded.) It is worth keeping in mind, though, that everyone playing on this demo was about fifteen years old at the time.
Not to be a shill (okay, a little bit to be a shill), but there are a lot of great stories about Maurice in the book, if you haven't read it, including their brief tour with Samhain, with Will Oldham in tow. (Oldham came close to joining Slint right after the group splintered off from Maurice—can you imagine?) So, you know, go buy the book. And buy the Maurice demo here.