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If you ask five different alternative rockers how technology should be used, you are likely to get five different opinions. Truth be told, there is no "correct" way. Using nothing but live instruments works for some, while others hold programmed sounds and live instruments in equally high regard. Pitchshifter leader J.S. Clayden has described Deviant as the work of "a live band augmented by sampled elements," and he speaks the truth. On this good to excellent CD, live instruments are the foundation of Pitchshifter's heavy, forceful alternative rock (which is influenced by everything from punk and grunge to metal). But technology and samples are part of the icing on Deviant's cake. If the British band had used live instruments exclusively on Deviant, songs like "Wafer Thin," "Dead Battery," and "Forget the Facts" still would have been memorable -- this isn't an album that tries to use technology to mask a lack of genuine emotion or strong songwriting skills. Nonetheless, high-tech elements tend to make the Dave Jerden-produced Deviant all the more interesting.

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