…or perhaps of Soft Cell.

The more I read about Freemasonry, the less I know about it. (I have the same difficulty with Scientology.) What I have gleaned so far: the Masonic apron is worn by members at society functions. It derives from the aprons worn by actual stonemasons, and is “an emblem of innocence, and the badge of a Freemason.” George Washington, a high-ranking Mason, had two aprons, one of which is pictured above. For a detailed analysis of its symbols, see here.

Moss – Dragged to the Roots
Soft Cell – Memorabilia

English doom metallers Moss (interviewed here) are well-known for their interest in the occult. It’s unsurprising that they tapped Masonic imagery for 2008’s Sub Templum (reviewed here). They stripped out much of the symbolism, however, perhaps for the sake of cleaner design. (See enlarged version of the artwork here.)

Soft Cell, on the other hand, cribbed Washington’s apron design faithfully, but added a wine glass and a musical note. (See enlarged version of the artwork here.) I have been unable to find out what drove these decisions. Why Masonic imagery for a greatest hits compilation? Were the wine glass and musical note subversive gestures? Did Soft Cell have songs other than “Tainted Love”? (Yes, as it turns out. “Memorabilia” snappily melds Kraftwerk with Gang of Four.) What would ol’ Georgie have thought?

– Cosmo Lee