Stoke-On-Trent’s Deviant UK are unquestionably at the top of the ladder when it comes to dark alternative music in the UK, boasting a sound that consistently blurs the line between industrial, goth and pop music. Throughout its brief history the group’s hard-hitting and emotive onslaught has captured and corrupted the minds of music lovers the world over, alongside the attention of a few big-time followers including Gary Numan and Peter Spilles (Project Pitchfork).
The live band, including Simon Clewlow and Nick Struggles on keyboards along with Mark Bartholomew on drums), was originally formed by the self-proclaimed ego maniac Jay Smith who’s determination in the studio and attitude everywhere else has allowed the project to take shape and develop along with the UK’s ever-changing freakscene.
When Deviant’s debut album ‘Barbed Wire Star’ was first released in 2006, listeners immediately latched on to the hypnotic Numan-esque vocal style and dark humour embedded within Smith’s lyrics on venemous standout tracks like ‘Raptured Saints’ and the defiant-yet-accessible cybergoth anthem ‘Access Denied’.
Excessive touring with acclaimed industrial bands The Cruxshadows and Rotersand followed the release, and it was within the live arena that Smith excelled as he was able to push his unrivalled confidence from out of the studio and into the collective face of dark culture like a delightfully itchy rash. Consequently, as a band Deviant UK cemented a solid reputation for energetic live performances that still carries influence over alternative music promoters and press today on an international scale.
The thing that will capture your attention the most though, is the passion that is explored beneath these brutally honest and totally debauched sounds. Along with the overwhelming sense of self-belief that dominates Smith’s work there is also an underlying idea that he truly believes that his music (and the dark alternative scene in general), has longevity and that there is a need that nags constantly within us all to question the norm and experience something just a little bit twisted. Musically, it’s definitely sin for the win.
Having just completed a four week tour of the US with the aforementioned Project Pitchfork the band are still out on the road with regular dates all over the country and Europe for the rest of the year and into the next. There’s also a new album aptly titled, ‘Very Bad Things’ scheduled for release in the early part of 2010.
In summary, If your ideal sonic sh**-mix involves sticking some defining 80s electro-pop sounds in a blender with some progressive industrial beats then you are probably on the same wavelength as Mr. Smith and there’s certainly no saving you…