Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts
Artist: The Slants
Produced by: The Slants
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Founded in 2006 by Simon Young, the Portland, Oregon Asian-American dance rock band known as The Slants have a 80s punk rock revolution sound. They had already produced a number of albums and had a large national fan base when the band decided to trademark their name. After a lengthy battle in which the United States Trademark and Patent Office sought to prevent the band from trademarking their name due to the fact that they considered it offensive towards people of Asian descent, The Slants won their case. In a celebratory gesture, they sent me their debut album.
I’ve heard a remix of the 2007 debut Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts, but never the original unaltered version. Powered by electric guitars, synthesizers and drums, The Slants have an electric sound that makes you want to get up and dance. Their first track, Sakura Sakura is dedicated to people of Asian descent: “We sing for the Japanese and the Chinese and all the Cantonese. Can you see me? We sing in harmony.” I love that the track begins with a traditional Japanese folk song simplicity then slams into an adrenalin pumping punk rock sound. You just want to jump up and down mosh-pit style while listening to this song.
The entire album is an adrenaline rush that will have you performing air guitar and drums solos while dancing around the room. Pay special attention to Sakura Sakura, We Will Never Die (a revolutionary anthem and the first song ever written for The Slants), Kokuro (I Fall to Pieces) and Welcome to Doomtown. These are some of the best tracks on the album and great representations of the sound that The Slants have perfected over the years.
I had a great time listening to this debut album and urge all fans of that 80s punk sound to get their hands on Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts. The Slants’ sound has matured over the years, but their debut album is still one of the greatest they’ve ever made.