Moist is a five-piece Canadian alternative rock band that was popular in the mid-to-late-1990s. The band was led by lead singer David Usher, along with Mark Makoway (guitars), Jeff Pearce (bass), Kevin Young (keyboards) and Paul Wilcox (drums).
Moist formed in 1992. They quickly wrote and recorded songs for an independently released, self-titled cassette 1993. The cassette caught the attention of EMI
, who released their first full-length studio CD, Silver
, in 1994. The album went on to sell 400,000 copies in Canada on the strength of hard-hitting singles like "Push", "Silver" and "Believe Me". Silver was a hard-hitting grunge/rock style album ripe with guitar solos and flashy key sequences. The prominent use of the keyboard/piano is what makes moist's music stand out from other alt-rock bands of the time. The vocal contrast that Usher presented - from soft as a feather serenades, to loud, rough hollering - added to the dynamics of the album. His mysterious poetic lyrics, allow the listener to revisit a song several times and never be completely sure what he is singing about.
In late 1996, Moist released their second album, Creature, to favourable reviews. The album included the hits "Leave It Alone", "Resurrection", "Tangerine", and "Gasoline", all which were placed on high rotation on MuchMusic. In addition to these, remixed versions of "Tangerine" also became hits both on radio and Muchmusic. Creature allowed moist to experiment with other instruments such as the trumpet, bongos, and violin. The sound was more mellow than the previous album in most cases, but the harder songs still had a distinguished "cleaner" sound to them.
Following the band's second record, David Usher released his first solo album, Little Songs.
In early 1999, the band regrouped to record one more album, the melancholic and soft-toned Mercedes 5 and Dime. The album was released in the summer of 1999 in Canada and later in 2000 in the United States. Singles included "Breathe", "Underground", and "Comes and Goes". Mercedes 5 and Dime is Moist's last album to date. Mercedes showed Moist's growth and maturity with borderline electronic sounds and soft-toned riffs. Usher was generally softer, but the variety still remained.
David Usher has continued to record, releasing Morning Orbit in 2001, Hallucinations in 2003, If God Had Curves in 2005 and Strange Birds in 2007. Jeff Pearce formed the band RYE, which released its first record, Wolves, in 2004, and Mark Makoway published a guide to the music industry, called The Indie Band Bible.
While touring in support of their final album, drummer Paul Wilcox injured his back, causing him to miss the band's final performances. Moist are currently on an indefinite hiatus and show no signs of a reunion, though several band members have toured or recorded with David Usher in his solo endeavours.
- "Push" (1994)
- "Silver" (1994)
- "Believe Me" (1995)
- "Freaky Be Beautiful" (1995) UK release
- "Leave It Alone" (1996)
- "Resurrection" (1996)
- "Tangerine" (1997)
- "Gasoline" (1997)
- "Breathe" (1999)
- "Underground" (1999)
- "Comes and Goes" (1999)
- Won Juno for Best New Group at the 1995 Juno Awards
- Won Juno for best video (Gasoline) at the 1997 Juno Awards
- Won an MMVA (MuchMusic Video Award) for Favorite Canadian Group in 1995.
- The video for Push is featured in an episode of Beavis and Butt-head. This appearance was included on the B&B Mike Judge Collection Volume 1 DVD
- The songs Push and Resurrection have both appeared on separate episodes of the Canadian television program Due South.
- The song Resurrection appeared on the album for Canadian film Wrestling with Shadows.
- The video for the song Tangerine won Best Video, and Best Director at the (MuchMusic Video Awards) in 1997.
- The song Push can be heard in the movie In the Army Now.
- The song Breathe can be heard in the movie Stir Of Echoes.
- The song Leave It Alone appeared in and is on the soundtrack for the movie Brokedown Palace.
- Many alternate versions of songs were released. Tangerine spawned several remixes, while a live video of Resurrection aired often on Muchmusic in place of the music video. The radio version of Gasoline was a heavily remixed version of the album cut. Underground, Comes and Goes, and Push all saw re-recorded versions released in 2000, while the video for Breathe featured a shorter version of that song than was found on the album.