Two brothers and a childhood friend, the three met in the halls of high school and immediately fell in together, later dropping out of college and heading off - criss-crossing the country, flying back and forth to Japan (where they developed a strong bond with cultsuperstar UA), and making lots of new friends and fans along the way.
These days, when not touring or busy in the recording studio, Brad, Andrew and Marc can be found roaming the streets of Boston or Montreal, enjoying a cafe from the local barista, catching a film at the moviehouse or reading quietly in the park. Jim James (of My Morning Jacket) tripped over them recently at one of their avant art-rock shows and told the New York Times about it:
“Seeing them live was amazing...I instantly felt a bond with these three guys. You see so many tired, boring rock acts doing the same thing over and over, but these guys are reaching out...They're taking what we know of music and trying to twist it to a different place."
- Jim James, Sunday NYTimes, July 2, 2006
Brad Barr is the band’s core songwriter and one of the great rock guitarists of his generation. He is also looking to join an adult softball league. Brad is the troubadour who’s absorbed it all, from Blonde on Blonde to Bitches Brew. He has the ability to do almost anything on six strings, yet consistently plays with taste, context and humility, understanding the awesome power of three chords and a simple melody to bring people in.
Marc Friedman is mission control on bass guitar, the foundation keeping it all together. He brings the wide-ranging and eclectic interests - from Gershwin to Madonna - that result in many of the trio's most enduring arrangements, as well as many of the high-concept production elements on Eisenhower. Marc brings the nutmeg and the cinnamon. He’s the virtuoso who has literally invented new ways of playing his instrument yet also represents the band’s brick wall; constant and comprehensive in his support.
Andrew Barr is the engine and the source of the band’s chaos and primal energy, often forgetting where he put his shoes, and dreaming up elaborate beats that tell real stories. Andrew's drum parts are practically their own complete songs, adding thunder and lightning to the intimacy of a heartbeat. He rocks like Bonham and listens like your best friend.
After drilling deep within their home studios over the almost five years since their last studio release, the band finally entered the illustrious Q-Division Studios in Boston to create a stunning new album that brings adventure, daring, and honest songwriting back to the annals of rock. The band’s first release for Bar/None Records, this is music that points to the future, synthesizing older influences like The Beatles, Bach, and Led Zeppelin while also engaging in a current dialogue with the likes of Built to Spill, Iron & Wine and Wilco.
Co-produced by the band and the dapper Matthew Ellard (Elliot Smith, Billy Bragg & Wilco, Morphine) and with additional engineering by good friend and fellow Montrealien Drew Malamud (Stars, Metric, The Dears), EISENHOWER easily stands as the mostcohesive and evocative work The SLIP has released to date.
The album kicks off with “Children of December” and right away you can tell that something truly powerful and new is happening. Percussive vocal delivery over just four punchy chords that erupts unexpectedly into far-flung choruses and then backs out just asquickly - It’s a holiday song for no season in particular, a jump-up, generational anthem for the yesteryears of tomorrow.
" ‘Children of December’ is the song that hit me hardest,” adds Jim James, “the way the guitar and the melody interlace, it's incredible...It could even appeal to some kid who really likes punk rock. It's really challenging.”
Immediately following is "Even Rats" - a super-charged, arena-rock racecar for your impersonal post-apocalypse. Hook-laden, and complete with politically-charged and ambiguous lyrics, the track has already been featured in Sony Playstation's top-selling "Guitar Hero" video game, and in doing so has introduced the band to a massive new crop of fans worldwide.
From then on, the record only pulls you further and further in, ranging effortlessly from intimate, hushed vocals to thunderous, big-beat anthem sincerity, all the while telling a single intense and meaningful story. Massive Lennon-esque ballads give way to angular post-punk deconstructions and gently transition into intimate acoustic lullabies. Virtuosic surf-rock intros drift seamlessly into dusty, epic, headphone Americana...all of this, and yet, somehow, the story is never lost, it all ends up making sense. It is the work of a band at it’s finest: a new paradigm in wide-awake rock-realism. We are so pleased to bring you EISENHOWER.