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Articles Home » 1989 Articles » Zurich - 1989 Incommunicado
Zurich - 1989 Incommunicado

ARTIST: Zurich
ALBUM: Incommunicado
LABEL: Visual Musik
YEAR: 1989


LINEUP: Paul Jokela - vocals, keyboards * Jon Stark - vocals, bass, keyboards * Jeff Roberts - drums, keyboards, vocal effects * Steve Petrey - guitars * Scott Duncan - keyboards, backing vocals * Matt Wallace - saxophones * Dave Simmons - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Crazy This Year * 02 Quite Like You * 03 She's Got * 04 Trouble * 05 On Camera * 06 Cryin' In My Sleep * 07 Game Of Life * 08 Gonna Miss You * 09 Heart Of Mine * 10 Poor Way To Lie * 11 Alpine * 12 My Farewell

Looking at the cover, band name and label spelling, your forgiven for thinking this is just another 80's Italo pop release, or that that Zurich was from European stock. Not even close. The group's origins are found in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the new wave band Film At Eleven who like another local band of the same ilk - Limited Warranty appeared on the national TV show 'Star Search'. After endless gigs and lack of direction, Film At Eleven petered out with drummer Jeff Roberts meeting up with bassist Jon Stark after a move to Los Angeles while still retaining a writing relationship with keyboardist Paul Jokela. Tunes were developed and somehow the trio met up with the Nebraska based label - Visual Musik. An odd marriage considering the label specialized in New Age music and nothing close to rock 'n roll.

The Songs
Hi-tech west coast is the best way to describe the music found on 'Incommunicado' and I hear all sorts of influences including Mr. Mister, Toto, Double, Cutting Crew and ABC. Both vocalists are competent and there are some fun things happening here including a tinge of smooth jazz on 'She's Got' and dramatic balladry with a big hook on 'Gonna Miss You', but after a while, there's a nagging sameness to the material that I just can't escape. A few more spins and it starts to remind me of one of those piss poor 80's movie soundtracks influenced by 'Miami Vice' where the guy always gets the girl while still wearing sunglasses. A little more variety and these guys could have been on to something, but as it stands Zurich doesn't see much play on my CD deck.

In Summary
Visual Musik had some pretty good distribution behind them which is why copies of 'Incommunicado' were easy to find for many years. I'm sure that's not the case anymore, but only buy or bid on this disc if you're enamored with dated 80's pop or own an extensive hi-tech collection.

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