For some reason, grunge groups never use keyboards to reinforce their angst. That leaves a sizable guitar-rock gap between synthesizer-abusing hair bands and black metal's classical-composer nods. The 2004 Club Wars champion, Sidewise, fills that void, decorating its I-love-the-'90s riffs with pristine piano tones. When Jason Foster starts plinking halfway through the opening track, "Lego," the song transforms from a standard stop-and-start mosher to a much more compelling creation. "Downpour" moves sharply from heavy grooves to jazzy intervals. The harmonies defy expectations as well, with singers Nico (in this case, anything but a chanteuse) and Matt Wilkinson shifting their voices midmerger to form arresting countermelodies. Nico occasionally sacrifices subtlety on the altar of end rhymes, resulting in a strident, syllable-counting cadence similar to an amateur poetry reading. But when he strays from structure, especially during choruses and closing lines, he can be an artful lyricist, conjuring phrases such as My new eyes/I'll never let them close. Toward the end of "Lotion," Sidewise briefly abandons its usual approach and becomes a convincing Tool tribute band. For its target audience, this should hardly be a drawback.