Often cited as an influence on both the post-hardcore and emo genres, Moss Icon had a brief life in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Main guitarist Tonie Joy went on to co-found Universal Order Of Armageddon and play briefly in Born Against. The band has popped up here and there sporadically over the years since, but remained obscure to all but the most dedicated fans of their music, thanks to their original recordings being all long out of print. Now thanks to Temporary Residence Ltd., Moss Icon’s complete discography is available once again in a two CD set jam packed with lyrics, live photos, and original album art. Beyond the beautiful packaging is the music itself, which thrashes back and forth between raging walls of sound and quiet, meandering parts. Vocalist Jonathan Vance’s alternating spoken word style of singing and enraged shouting carries his poetic, almost stream of consciousness lyrics throughout. There’s a very emotionally charged feeling on many of these recordings—a sort of melancholy mixed with barely repressed rage—a feeling heightened by the rise and fall from loud to quiet parts. The intensity this creates makes for some damn catchy music. I’ve had this in heavy rotation and don’t see myself tiring of it anytime soon. It’s a highly enjoyable and highly recommended reissue.
–Paul J. Comeau (Temporary Residence, [email protected])