• Defectors
  • Defectors (Zerbino's) 1984 

The jacket says “File under pomp music,” and that’s a partially apt self-description. The San Francisco foursome plays competent, inventive rock music (calling to mind Sparks and the Suburbs in spots) with a fondness for jarring chord changes and weird noises. Unfortunately, one of the two lead singers (the credits don’t assign individual guilt) has a stentorian voice better suited to reading the minutes at a gladiator conclave than taking the microphone at a concert; only when he downplays the bombast (or relinquishes the spotlight) does the band’s abundant cleverness and skill get a clear airing.

[Ira Robbins]