The Slants are covering several bases in a bid for stardom that, based on the press they’ve received, just might be successful. Kitschy retro sound? Check. In this case, we’re talking an ’80s-style synth-driven, dance/pop hybrid a la Depeche Mode or Duran Duran. The Portland, Ore.-based sextet even refers to its sound as “Chinatown dance rock.”
Slick image? Absolutely. One look at their promo picture—you know, the standard one where every lock of hair is carefully disheveled and each band member is pouting in a different direction—proves this sextet would be equally at home in both glossy music magazines or fashion rags. Not that calculated images aren’t as common in rock as writing songs with G, C and D chords, it’s just that any argument about the band’s originality may be a bit of a stretch.
Sonically, this is a record that would be great to throw on at a party to get some asses shaking. For just chilling and listening, it’s a little anxiety inducing—something about the sameness from track to track and the way the recording has compressed any sense of dynamics from the music sets me on edge. But maybe that’s the point. Who sits on their butt to listen to dance music, anyway?
The Slants play Dauphine’s Monday, July 14, at 8 PM. $5. All ages.