The Slants are the only all-Asian "Chinatown dance rock" band in America. So why do I think Hulk Hogan rather than Mr. Fuji when listening to Pageantry? Is it their dope red and yellow dragon logo?
Few looked as good out of the ring as the Hulkster. However, like Hogan's work in the ring, The Slants brand of 1980s high-hat driven pop featuring hooky guitar licks and whispering, cutie-pie keyboards doesn't bring much excitement to the musical match.
On "Every Chance I Get" the verse reeks of Green Day but the chorus is the howl of Electric-era Ian Astbury. Aron Moxley's ability to ape others, including the whiney moan of Morrissey, hints at his karaoke prowess but that only makes me want to jam Kill Uncle and curl up for a cry. The first nine tracks kept me wondering: Is this Orgy? KMFDM? A New Order tribute? It isn't until "How the Wicked Live" that the band sounds like themselves, dropping spook-tastic nasal keyboards and a sing-a-long butt-rocker of a chorus.
So-called experts decried Hogan as all style no substance. He showed them style was enough. In the case of The Slants, style might be enough for some but Mr. Fuji is my guy.