Slants! Slants! Revolution
Artist: The Slants
Produced by: The Slants
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
When bassist and band manager Simon Young left his punk rock band, The Stivs, he wanted to create a synthesizer-driven rock ‘n’ roll band with an Asian twist. Posting ads in local classifieds, Craigslist and Asian Supermarkets, it took roughly two years to bring all of the members of the band together. Then, of course, they needed a name. Simon Young chose The Slants, derived from the ethnic slur for Asians. “We want to take on these stereotypes that people have about us, like the slanted eyes, and own them,” said Young, “We’re very proud of being Asian — we’re not going to hide that fact. The reaction from the Asian community has been positive.”
In 2007, The Slants began playing in local Portland, Oregon venues, their sound a bit of rock, a bit of synth-pop, a bit of punk, all combined. Within months of their first show, The Slants had garnered quite a bit of attention from international media. Their demo album, Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts, was released in August of 2007 and sold 1,000 copies within six months of its release. The following year, the remastered version of the album was nationally released.
Since then, the band has undergone some minor changes with original their original keyboard wizard Michael “Gaijin” Pacheco heading off to school in Japan. However, before leaving, Gaijin did work on the band’s latest release, a dance remix album of songs from their original release, Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts. Featuring Simon Young on bass guitar, Aron on lead vocals, Jonathan on guitar and Tyler Chen on drums and Justin Coope (Son of Rust) and Gaijin on remix duties, Slants! Slants! Revolution introduces a new flavor to what has already been described as Chinatown dance rock.
Slants! Slants! Revolution contains eight remixed tracks that would put other mainstream dance hits to shame. This is an album that will get you moving. In fact, I found that I couldn’t stop dancing from the very first song on the album, Kokoro (roughly translated as the heart of things) to the last, Welcome to Doomtown. Each song contains a masterful remix of synthesizers making an already rocking dance beat even more enjoyable. The remixes created by Justine Coope and Gaijin soften the rock side of the band’s original songs and recreates them into something with much more dance flavor that I would expect to hear in any local dance club. My personal favorites include Welcome to Doomtown for its rising tempo and great throwback dance-synth mix and Love Within My Sins for its beautiful piano solo.
Slants! Slants! Revolution contains almost forty minutes of completely reworked and remixed versions of already terrific songs. Sometimes when a song is remixed, it loses its style and feel, but these remixes only serve to enhance what was already there. Slants! Slants! Revolution is an album that any fan of The Slants would be happy to purchase. It would definitely make a perfect addition to any dance music aficionado’s collection.