• Camouflage
  • Voices & Images (Atlantic) 1988 
  • Methods of Silence (Atlantic) 1989 
  • Meanwhile (Atlantic) 1991 

Considering that British synth-pop has its roots in German prog-rock, there’s something faintly just about this Hamburg trio’s real-or-Memorex Depeche Mode imitation on Voices & Images. Although several songs do digress from the overtly familiar, there’s little chance that anyone favorably disposed towards Speak & Spell (and unperturbed by the notion of hand-me-downs) won’t like this.

The DM sound reappears frequently on Methods of Silence, but Camouflage adds other elements that are less specifically derivative. Every track incorporates guest guitar; electronic piano, oboe, sax and cello also make beneficial appearances. While the maturing trio’s functional but mediocre songwriting (the lyrics, in English, rarely hit the mark) limits its ability to develop, the intriguing inter-generational leap of covering New Musik’s “On Islands” at least suggests an alternate path to explore.

[Kate Lewis]