I've got the first CD's of each of those six on my mp3 player right now, and I've gone through them a few times now whilst commuting. Here's a few observations:
- Cause & Effect is the weakest of the bunch. While they have some great songs ("The Echoing Green," "Another Minute," and "You Think You Know Her") the rest of the songs feel like filler, and the schtick of being "the Depeche Mode imitators who were English majors in college and make literary references here and there" is a weak schtick.
- Camouflage and Seven Red Seven both have songs ("They Catch Secrets" and "Everybody Lies" respectively) that sound like they're trying to be their answer to Depeche Mode's "Blasphemous Rumours." They're not as good, of course, but they do well enough at capturing some of the same morose atmosphere.
- Red Flag and Mesh both seem to be more dance oriented than the others. Oh; I didn't use Mesh's actual first CD, which would have been Fragile; I used Original '91-'93 which was released later but which were the first recorded songs. In general, where the groups do straight up club songs, they seem more successful; they're slower songs are not as good. With some few exceptions.
- Camouflage and De/Vision both have pretty thick German accents and occasional bad grammer. Camouflage cleaned that up fairly well in more recent releases, but De/Vision still suffers from that today.
- They all have slightly different twists on the "I sound like Depeche Mode" theme; Red Flag is more hardcore club oriented, Camouflage (at least on their first CD) gets a nice melancholy, dreamlike quality to most of their songs, Seven Red Seven has a trance and house mixture with a lot of vocal samples, etc.