Formed in 1989 by singer Andy Maize and guitarist Josh Finlayson, the band soon added Peter Cash, Wayne Stokes and bassist Ron Macey to their lineup. They quickly became a regular house band at Toronto's Spadina Hotel, often playing with Cash's brother, singer/songwriter Andrew Cash. In 1989, the band became the first Canadian signing to Enigma Records. Their self-titled debut album was released on Enigma the following year, and spawned the singles "Monday Morning" and "I Will Give You Everything". However, the label soon went bankrupt, and the album was never properly promoted.
In 1989, the band became the first Canadian signing to Enigma Records. Their self-titled debut album was released on Enigma the following year, and spawned the singles "Monday Morning" and "I Will Give You Everything". However, the label soon went bankrupt, and the album was never properly promoted.
Some of Enigma's Canadian staff created FRE Records in 1992, and released the band's second (and most popular) album, Restless, that year. At the same time, Stokes left the band. Drummers Mike Sloski and Steve Pitkin filled in on drums until the band recruited Joel Anderson as its new permanent drummer. "A Penny More", the lead single from Restless, became the band's biggest hit, produced by John Oliveira and the band at Hamilton's Grant Avenue Sudios.
Capitol Records, the distributor for both Enigma and FRE, also rereleased the band's debut album that year.
In 1993, the band's third album, Just Over This Mountain, was released, and consolidated the band's status by winning a number of music awards, including the Juno Award for Most Promising Group. Following that album, Anderson left the band and was replaced by Peter von Althen.
In 1995, the band signed to Warner Canada and released Road Radio. However, at this time, FRE went bankrupt, meaning that the band's earlier albums were no longer widely available. After the tour to support that album, Cash left the band. He was replaced by Paul MacLeod. The band subsequently left Warner, after which von Althen also left the band.
Since the band's sound had largely been defined by Maize and Cash's vocal harmonies, the band revised their sound somewhat for 1997's Desmond's Hip City, released on DROG Records. The title track had an almost trip-hop feel, and some other songs (notably "November in Ontario" and "The Shape of Things to Come") were closer to hard rock than anything the band had previously recorded.
In 1999, the band made an unusual move. With Restless, their most popular album, still unavailable in stores due to legal uncertainties around FRE's bankruptcy, they decided that their next studio project would be to assemble a new version of that album using old rehearsal recordings. Still Restless: The Lost Tapes was released that year.
In 2000, the band released the live album There and Back, followed in 2003 by Bittersweet Harmony.
In 2006 they teamed up with the The Cash Brothers (former Skydigger Peter Cash and his brother Andrew) to release an acoustic album, and Finlayson and Maize collaborated on the album Dark Hollow, which was credited to the side project Finlayson/Maize.
In 2008 they released City of Sirens.
The band also launched MapleMusic Recordings as a label and a web commerce portal to promote Canadian independent music.