September 09, 1985 12:00 PM

Dead or Alive

Not only does the sun set on the British Empire these days, but there would sure be a heck of a brownout if all the U.K. synthpop bands happened to plug their instruments in at the same time. As technological rockers go, though, this quartet is churlishly witty in a deadpan-Devo sort of way. Liverpool-born lead singer Pete Burns has perfected the droning vocals that are the standard for the genre. His mates, bassist Mike Percy, percussionist Steve Coy and keyboard-saxophone player Tim Lever, set up a glib background. And the group’s songs, co-written by its four members, do not take themselves too seriously. That allows Burns to sing on Cake and Eat It, “I will try anything/ I swear I’ll try it right here and now/ I might impress you/ With a Rudolph Valentino vow.” (Epic)

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