The Yellow Album
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." The band has been going strong since the 2007 release of their debut album, Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts. Since then, they have released a dance remix eight-track album, Slants! Slants! Revolution and a full-length album, Pageantry, which hit the stores in 2010. On November 6, 2012, The Slants released their new album, The Yellow Album.
The Slants' sound can best be described as punk rock meets dance. Rich in synths, percussion and guitar riffs, the sound is energetic and fun. The Slants have described this sound as Chinatown Dance Rock and they have perfected it over the years. The band's sound has matured, a fact that is readily apparent from the very first track Con Kids. A truly cool recent promo video for The Yellow Album set a portion of Con Kids to a scene from Kill Bill in which the bad guys all amass to surround the heroine. The music is adrenaline-pumping and the lyrics are menacing, letting us know that the "kids are coming" and they mean business. the music was perfect for this sort of scene and I could see the song used in a film of this nature in the future.
But The Yellow Album doesn't just feature fun, adrenaline-injecting songs of rebellion. There are tracks on this album that express personal feelings of anger, pain, anguish and despair. Adopted is one of those songs in which anger from the past lets itself be heard. Although the woman who gave him up "had her reasons," the singer expresses the anguish of an individual who has never known his mother and the anger felt by many adopted children who never truly understand why they were given up in the first place. Then there are the love songs like Let the Right One In, songs about love gone wrong like Misery and Sour Love. And one of my favorites, a fun dance track which talks about abandoning oneself to the moment, Just One Kiss.
In my opinion, , , , The Yellow Album shows great growth in musical spirit and lyrical wisdom for The Slants. This album represents some of their best work and is well worth taking a listen to. I can't wait to see what is next for this band.