The Slip Eisenhower

The Slip Eisenhower
What does the world need more: one more Godspeed-style space rock band or another neo-emo outfit? Though many may feel that the services of neither are particularly desired, the Slip have the unlikely distinction of having gone through both incarnations. The three-piece started life in 1996, kicking-out jazz-tinged space rock jams, and with Eisenhower they have completed their metamorphosis into skate shoe wearing popsters. Perhaps that is oversimplifying it a bit — the band come armed with serious technical chops and duly accent this album with them. So it’s funny, then, that the best song here is one of the simpler ones. Opener "Children of December” is a peppy, completely sing-able ride made endearing by rap/sung vocals. It is only here, however, that they manage to strike the delicate balance between musicianship and catchy pop. This is because half of the time they resort to Vaseline-lens balladeering that is at least five or six years past its best before date: "If One of Us Should Fall,” "Life In Disguise.” And when they actually do manage to hit upon some intriguing pop ("Airplane/Primitive”), they ruin it with throwaway teenage philosophising. Not convinced? Try lines like, "People are strange/that’s why we’re strangers” or "It’s the day before the rest of my life” on for size. Eisenhower is just another example of how proficiency with instruments doesn’t necessarily translate into the ability to write a decent pop song. (Bar/None)