Formed in 1978 and regulars at Belfast punk haunts The Harp Bar and The Pound by 1980, The Defects achieved only local recognition until their debut 45 Dance (Til You Drop) was released through their own Casualty imprint in 1981. Selling out of its initial 2,000 pressing, the single led to a deal with London’s WXYZ label which released The Defects’ lone studio LP Defective Breakdown in 1982, netting them an Indie Top 10 success and a high-profile support slot on label mates The Anti-Nowhere League’s controversial So What UK tour into the bargain.
Thirty six years on, Defective Breakdown remains one of the superior punk platters from the UK82 era. It hardly reinvents punk’s wheel, but the best of its impassioned, UK Subs-style gob-athons (Killer On The Streets, We Don’t Care) still convince, while the fizzing, hormonal rush of the Buzzcocks-y Deprived and the ritualistic, Killing Joke-esque power of Survival both provide signposts to future roads the Antrim boys could have taken.
Ultimately, though, outside forces would decide The Defects’ fate. With punk’s second wave quickly running out of steam and their ill-conceived cover of Elvis Presley’s Suspicious Minds stiffing, they abruptly split after supporting the reconstituted Clash at Belfast’s Ulster Hall in February 1984.