The Slip Eisenhower Bar/None
Longtime fans ofThe Slip
will find the band almost unrecognizable onEisenhower
. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Over the last decade, the New England trio has evolved from psychedelic jazz improv a laMiles Davis's
Bitches Brew to tightly constructed lyrical indie pop the likes ofWilco
andBuilt to Spill
. Those familiar with the band's last studio releaseAngels Come on Time
could have seen this move coming. However, onAngels
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the band often sounds a little unsure of itself, whereas onEisenhower
the band sounds confident in its new territory.
A common complaint of the jazz incarnation of the band was that its members often flaunted their musical prowess and overplayed. This is certainly not the case on Eisenhower, which enjoys a stripped-down minimalist sound. Nowhere is this more evident than in Brad Barr's guitar work, which sounds far more like Thurston Moore than John McLaughlin this time around. Joined by brother Andrew Barr on drums/percussion and Marc Friedman on bass, the music is still masterfully crafted, just a little less in-your-face. From the beginning of the fast-paced opening track "Children of December," one is witnessing The Slip tread new musical ground. Undoubtedly, some jazz fiends will say the band has sold out (even though the CD is not likely to sell well), but the truth is that this is a band that has merely matured and found its niche. — James Bolen