They quickly rose to prominence on the CanCon alternative scene and MuchMusic with their first album Silver in 1994 and gradually faded by their third record five years later. Any recollection of Moist is limited to what they brought in that span.
As for what they can bring two decades later, they pretty much have two options. Stick with what they did and hope to attract old fans with the power of nostalgia, or try to fit in with today’s rock musical landscape and hope something sticks.
Judging by the album’s first single Mechanical, they chose the first option and in doing so, achieved something few bands are able to after such an extended hiatus. They’re honed in on their best sound and recreated it into new material, as if they never took a break at all.
Two songs into Glory Under Dangerous Skies and it’s like listening to Moist at their peak in the 90s. After Mechanical is Broken, which could pass as a nephew of Push. The record sticks closely to the sound they became known for, with lyrics that are poetic and angsty but at the same time, larger than life and time, and observant. They have a way of making you feel like a small blip in a very large space but still everything connects to you.
Even beyond that, they can still deliver great lines that just jump out of the songs. Lines such as “I believe what we see/can’t exist without history/we are reached through insecurity,” and “what you could call true/dispels any other lie,” from God Is In The White Rice, and “we ran to Jesus to be saved/fill the hole inside me/a little trick to fool us all/you fooled us all” from The River.
The smooth transition across 15 years between albums could be attributed to the band members’ continued involvement in music after Moist. Mark Makoway and Jonathan Gallivan did songwriting and production with other artists, while David Usher released albums of his own following his debut solo record Little Songs in 1998. He followed it up with seven more between 2001 and 2012.
Yet, despite his own successful solo career and reputation as a songwriter and musician, there’s a clear distinction between that and the sound of this record. Glory Under Dangerous Skies is purely a rock album, complete with guitar solos throughout and enough energy to make you feel young again.
As a band, they sound as great as they ever have and as a comeback, they’ve achieved what any good comeback sets out to do. Rekindle interest through nostalgia and outdo themselves doing it. They’ve delivered what any fan of Moist or 90s Canadian alternative would want and really, it’s kind of the point.
4. Comes The Sun
5. The River
6. Glory Under Dangerous Skies
7. Morning Dies Here
8. Black Roses
9. Still I Won’t Look Down
10. God Is In The White Rice
11. All Forgiven