Review Summary: Pitchshifter's disdain for the status quo seems more necessary than ever.2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Pitchshifter aren't happy with the world. Or, at least, they weren't back in 2000 when they released 'Deviant'. It stands as a forty five minute 'eff you' to uncaring politicians, bloated corporations and everyone who sits on their hands while the world goes to Hell in a handbasket. Each song oozes with contempt, J.S. Clayden's cocky, pissed-off vocals practically spitting hot gobs of righteous indignation over the band's crunchy, industrial, groove-laden music. It's remarkable that such a generally annoyed group of lads haven't got anything to say about the year 2012.
'Deviant' marks a continued evolution of the band's much more melodic sound, first tried on 'www.pitchshifter.com'. It's more polished, and as a result, slightly less effective as an incitement to rebel. It sounds a little too clean-cut. Also, there's nothing here to match 'Genius', 'W.Y.S.I.W.Y.G' or 'Please Sir', but the album does contain a host of ace tunes, with practically no filler and plenty of variety. Songs are catchy (no, that's NOT a bad thing) and well structured. The tempo is kept high, and every song brims with energy.
'Hidden Agenda' begins as a slow mantra to the indoctrinated, before exploding with a drum 'n' bass-backed order to take action. 'Dead Battery', for my money the best track on the album, is a shotgun blast to the brain of those content to simply slot themselves into the system, and the fantastic 'As Seen on TV' gives us a long and witty critique of the endless crap we get fed from the glowing idiot-box in the corner of the living room. 'Deviant' has a sense of humour, too; 'Keep It Clean' politely asks you to shut the f*ck up, while the album closes with a seemingly computerised teacher addressing a class of youngsters.
Pitchshifter aren't a subtle band; they're angry and by god, they're gonna tell you about it. For the most part, it works spectacularly. There's a definite (and usually positive) message in each song, and it's all played out over Jim Davies' techno-tinged guitar and Jason Bowld's tight, gunfire drumming. Mark Clayden's bass comes through thick and fast, giving the band a very big sound. Use of samples is performed well and doesn't threaten to overtake the music at any point.
For all its noble intentions, 'Deviant' is an album that impresses with its sound before its message. Whether or not you agree with the band's outlook of 'enough is enough' (and in this day and age, chances are you will), the unique sound the guys have captured here will get your head nodding and your foot tapping - even if it does nothing for your worldview.