They’re Back or Something: The Return of Moss Icon

Maria Sherman

Moss Icon

Cover art

Moss Icon, for better or worse, are clouded in mystery. Here’s what we know about them:

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Moss Icon were a progressive post-hardcore band, founded in Annapolis, Maryland in 1987. They broke up four years later, in 1991; the year Dave Markley told us punk broke. Much of their recorded material wasn’t released until after their disbandment, which speaks to why more people are familiar with the band’s name than their actual music. Also, thanks in large to the collection of misinformation surrounding the band, Moss Icon are oft dubbed “emo.”

I, with little to no remorse, am the product of an emo upbringing. I bought tickets the day the Promise Ring reunion shows were announced (regardless of the fact that I had no way of getting to Chicago,) and if you knew how much Mineral I listen to, you would feel shock, followed by shame and possibly pity; which is why I can say, with complete confidence, that Moss Icon are not an emo band.

Sure, “What They Lack” might sound vaguely similar to Rites of Spring, but Moss Icon are no Embrace. Existing somewhere between political hardcore and gritty post-punk, Moss Icon recalls bands like Warsaw before their emotional ‘80s DC brethren. Frontman Jonathan Vance’s stream of consciousness vocals create a tension between harsh choruses and the pronounced guitar arpeggios of Tonie Joy (of Born Against fame. A band some may remember as helping found the late ‘80s/early ‘90s New York hardcore/ ABC No Rio scene.)

Which is why, thanks to Temporary Residence Limited, shit's getting cleared up.

On May 8th, our good friends at TRL are releasing Moss Icon’s “Complete Discography”, a 2xCD/3xLP collection, which, for a band that is next to impossible to find any real information about, will include triple-gatefold jackets, rare live photos and original lyrics. The collection contains the majority of the band’s repertoire with the exception of “It Disappears,” and a few live recordings.

The track listing is as follows:
  1. Mirror
  2. I'm Back Sleeping Or Fucking Or Something
  3. Divinity Cove
  4. Locket
  5. As Afterwards The Words Still Ring
  6. Lyburnum – Wit's End (Liberation Fly)
  7. Cricketty Rise (Haverton Roads – Browns And Greens)
  8. Happy (Unbounded Glory)
  9. The Life
  10. Kick The Can
  11. Memorial
  12. Moth
  13. Guatemala
  14. Gravity
  15. As Afterwards, The Words Still Ring
  16. Familiar Presides
  17. Hate In Me
  18. What They Lack
  19. Kiss The Girls And Make Them Die

In addition to the discography, Moss Icon will reunite to play a show at the Mohawk in Austin, Texas as part of Chaos in Tejas this summer. On June 3rd the band will join Iceage, Ceremony, Give and Thou.

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