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The Slants

Every Slants track mashes together everything that makes modern rock fun. The riffs are nonstop and catchy. The guitars and synths are nearly perfectly balanced, each having opportunities to shine, without it ever settling into “being” an electronic- or guitar-based sound. They've got a great live drummer behind the sound, throwing in constant little twists, along with a barrage of programmed drums.

In front of it all, singer Aron Moxley has a fantastic voice that needs no electronic enhancement. He has a far greater range than most would expect from a dance-pop singer, but part of that comes from his range of influences. There's a strong 80s goth feel to his performance, reminding often of Dave Gahan or The Cult. “Stranglehold,” especially is practically a love letter to classic Depeche Mode.

The standout tracks on their four albums come fast and furious. “Con Kids” has a great retro-70s Alice Cooper feel, channeling the vibe of “School's Out” into a dance cut about teenage empowerment whether anyone likes it or not. “Love Letters From Andromeda” has a nice space-dance music vibe, but without the lyrics ever crossing over into being overly geeky. “You Make Me Alive” has a standout funky disco breakdown about 2:30 in that's an amazing, almost prog piece of work.

The Slants even have something to say with their music. They're comprised entirely of Asian-Americans, and many of their songs – as well as the band's name – are direct commentaries on being Asian in a white culture that still tends towards Orientalism. Songs like “Sakura, Sakura” with its broken okoto intro, seems to exemplify this by gently chiding without spoiling the beat.

They've been making a name for themselves primarily on the Asian fandom circuit, working anime and sci-fi conventions. However, The Slants have far more potential than just being some con band. They've got a great sound, they know great dance tracks from across the world and the last forty years, and they rock.

The Ideas

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Richard Goeb

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