The Slants

Nestled in Portland, Oregon's predominately white and hipster culture is all-Asian American dance rock band, The Slants. Rather than adopting the usual departure points of Portland's music scene - alt-folk rock, shoegazer music, indie pop - The Slants took their influence from grabbing onto the corners of foundational 80s synth-pop music and blending it with modern dance rock sensibilities. They call this amalgamation of contagious, energetic, and danceable music "Chinatown Dance Rock."

For their third full-length release, The Yellow Album, the band continued in the vein of creating an album charged with energy and shaped by an intensity gained only from frequent touring. It is the sound of a band who understands its roots but isn't afraid to branch out musically. The result is a rounded album that explores the dichotomy between darker undertones and the thrills of new love.

The Yellow Album could be a natural progression from either 2010's Pageantry or their 2007 debut Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts. Musically, it draws from the wider synthesizer driven palette of the first album while retaining the harder hitting rock sounds of the second. The lyrics explore the personal lives and experiences of the members of the band.

Frontman Aron Moxley's life began with abandonment. He explains, "I was one of the babies born in Saigon during the Vietnam War. I'll never know my real birthday, let alone find out who my mother is or know if she's still alive." The song "Adopted" illustrates Moxley confronting these feelings, which have plagued him for so long. "This album is more transparent, more sincere. It came from a faulty, but true short love story that ended in numbness fueled by booze and tears. But, ultimately back to a rescue of my own heart."

The idea of redemption from all-consuming pain is also reflected in other songs, including "Misery" and "Been Through Hell." Moxley states, "I like to write songs that are deeply personal, that mean something to me. I think they're more real and they're things that other people can relate to as well. Things got as bad as I thought they could ever get, I hit rock bottom. But I kept moving on."

During the past two years, The Slants had to balance a rigorous international touring schedule, a lineup change, writing songs for the album, keeping personal relationships from falling apart, fundraising for the tsunami relief effort in Japan, and a fight with the United States Patent and Trademark Office that made headlines across both legal blogs and Asian culture outlets.

"We were pulled into an unexpected struggle," explains founder and bassist Simon Young. "A touring band has enough to worry about, let alone an international disaster involving friends and family or dealing with a legal battle against the United States government."

The trademark battle was sparked by a government attorney's claim that the band's name was disparaging to Asians. "It was like banging our head against the wall, trying to convince someone that we were not offensive to ourselves, that the community was in overwhelming support of our band."

Despite the frustration, Young used the opportunity to bring an entire community together in order to defeat the poorly written, antiquated laws that were affecting numerous minority groups. The title track "Yellow" reflects the constriction experienced by the band.

The album title itself was birthed in a more playful approach to the idea of ethnic pride. "We've actually been sitting on the idea for a few years," says Moxley. "The Beatles had The White Album, Metallica and Jay Z had The Black Album, so we wanted to have The Yellow Album." The juxtaposition of a tongue-in-cheek album title and some deeply serious songs reflect a band who can still embrace tragedy with a punk rock swagger.

With The Yellow Album The Slants continue to combine their 80s music heritage, floor-filling dance beats, and cultural experiences that provide the backbone for every note. The result is a collection of undeniably catchy songs that will make you want to dance. However, this album will also resonate with you, providing so much more than an enticing chorus. The Slants manage to combine heart and musicality, a combination that is becoming increasingly rare. The Slants have arrived and are ready to induct you into the Slants Army. It's time for you to listen.

Voltheque

After a brief stint rehearsing as an 80s cover band, former members of Philadelphia bands TV Sound, Action Reaction and Silk Stockade have joined forces in a collective musical super-endeavor: Voltheque. Merging classic gothic rock influences such as Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Cult with Futurist and New Romantic styles of Depeche Mode and Visage, delightfully centered around a Duran Duran-esque groove, this band has all the elements of post-punk revival covered, along with plenty of originality to propel them into the modern age. In a live context, Voltheque conjures a unique and energetic performance like you’ve never seen, showcasing their pulsating rhythms, driving guitars, and ambient soundscapes to create a sound unique to the current Philadelphia music scene. Stay tuned for their upcoming single, Unearthed, which is currently in production at Philly Sound Studios.

Overcoming Gravity

Phil La Placa and Adam Zaccaria met a decade ago both having a love for music and trying to find a way to give this new found attraction a vehicle to play for the masses. The two wrote their first song together which years later turned into what is now "Her Name" which is not only the single that has driven this band, but the success this song has had is nothing short of amazing. Over the years the two have honed in on their talents and have been very fortunate in the success the music they create together has landed them in some pretty cool situations. Phil and Zac, have opened up for Linkin Park, Chris Cornell, The Sick Puppies, Stroke 9, Rusted Root, The Bravery, to mention a few, they also have had songs like "Mystery Rose" "Collapse" "Her Name" and countless others spun on major and internet radio around the nation and world. "Overcoming Gravity" is a pop rock band in which has its own Pandora station, and is on Spotify and any other major music streaming site. They have a distribution deal and publishing deals, making their music possible to be heard on a global scale world wide. Michael Mazzucca is a long time friend of Zac and Phil's. Michael has watched the two threw out the years and has been playing along side of them since the beginning. Michael is the lead guitar player for the band and is the heart and soul of Overcoming Gravity. His melody sense and taste in notes make for raunchy yet beautiful sophisticated arrangements . Justin Rodgers, is the backbone of Overcoming Gravity, and is behind the kit drumming for the band. Justin and Phil had met by chance, threw conversation Phil was blown away with the amount of passion and love Justin had for music, and how Justin had an understanding what was amazing about music and what it meant to him. When he got behind the kit for the first time it was a no brainer that Justin had the chops and rhythm to keep this band and the people in perfect time. The two of them knew that this band made sense and that Justin should be a part of the flavor. Overcoming gravity has been spun on 93.3 WMMR, Radio 104.5, 93.7 WSTW, Gashouse Radio, and many many others. This band is full of love and passion for their craft and the awareness of what music means to themselves and others, and would never be careless with such an amazingly powerful thing. They will see you all very very soon.

Future Computre

In the early spring of 2012, Future Computre began as a heavily loop-based trumpet and guitar duo from the Philadelphia area. The initial sounds utilized a large array of effects pedals and rhythms provided by drum machine.

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