The Mother
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The Mother

Band Alternative Adult Contemporary


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"Mother of invention"

THE Mother may just be the best Singapore band you’ve never heard. Formed in 1992, they are considered one of the nation’s best rock acts.
TV addicts might remember The Mother as a competitor in the Asia Bagus regional battle of the bands in 1995.
Holding their own against top regional talent, The Mother became the only Singaporean band to reach the finals.
The next year, the band made headlines again when they recorded two tracks on the now-defunct Springroll label's Flush After Use compilation.
However, The Mother’s biggest claim to fame is perhaps their appearance on legendary Singaporean rock magazine BigO’s annual anthology New School Rock IV from 1994.
Their contributions – Some¬thing's Happening and Still Confused – got them noticed in the right places: Janice Garza, the editor of US music journal RIP, even said that The Mother "was fresher than most British bands and not as pretentious".
Nevertheless, the band’s buzz fizzled prematurely as the members got caught in the trap that befalls many of the nation’s brightest musicians: National Service and work commitments.
Despite that, The Mother re-grouped in 2001 and released their self-financed debut album A Dark Trip On The Ill Tip.
"I can’t go on booking recording studios to do music with my busy work schedule," said 32-year-old Razali Abdullah, who amuses himself as a sub-editor for Today when not composing.
"Making music is too costly a hobby. As an alternative, I got my own recording tools and work from home,'' he said.
But after a dormant spell, Razali decided to take on the world again with a revitalised line-up featuring new member and keyboardist (and fellow Today sub-editor) Justin Cheong as well as long time collaborator Mohd Nazim Mahat on guitars.
Already the union is proving to be fruitful: The trio is currently putting the finishing touches on its second album Lost Shadow In The Dark.
As an added bonus, The Mother will also play its first live show in three years on Saturday.
The show will also feature fellow homegrown rock talents Camra and Life Without Dreams.
"We hope our fans can check us out and see how much we’ve progressed," Razali added.
"We’ve really taken time to develop this new batch of songs. That’s what drives me besides work these days, to make every one of our songs perfect."

What: Scratches On The Surface with The Mother, Camra and Life Without Dreams
When: tomorrow, 7pm
Where: Earshot, The Arts House. Admission is free. - Today

"It's The Mother's day, at last"

An album that has been in gestation for at least six years has finally been delivered. And it was worth the wait

TWO exhilarating tracks stood out on the now-extinct Springroll label's landmark Flush After Use compilation in 1996. Both were by a band called The Mother.

The synthesizer work on the group's End Of The World was positively hypnotic. But it was The Girl That I Once Knew, with its driving rhythms, deft guitar flourishes and wistful lyrics, that lifted off into that realm few bands anywhere ever reach.

The Mother rode Girl into the first Asia Bagus Band finals. It was the only Singapore band to get that far.

But then, as dramatically as it had appeared, The Mother was gone -- or at least it seemed that way.

"I know that people think we're dead," says Razali Abdullah, 28, the band's lead guitarist and vocalist, who also works as a sub-editor for the newspaper Today. "But we have never been the kind of band that goes all out for gigs. Things just happened."

Those things included the departure of his Yishun neighbourhood-mate and fellow guitarist and vocalist with whom he formed The Mother in 1992, Nigel Hogan. He became a Padre -- Spanish for father.

"I was looking to play more often and in bigger venues," says Hogan, also 28, and now a producer for MTV. "The other members of The Mother had started working and didn't have much time for that. But I never really severed ties with them."

Indeed, Hogan put the finishing touches, his signature guitar and bass lines, on tracks that Razali had recorded with other original Mothers, a drummer who goes only by the name of Bobo and guitarist Nazim Mahat -- also both 28 -- and some session musicians.

The result: The Mother is finally giving birth.

Next Saturday, it will release its first album, A Dark Trip On The Ill Tip.

But don't let that title put you off.

The album lives up to the early promise of a group that Janice Garza, the editor of respected music journal RIP, said "was fresher than most British bands and not as pretentious". (That was her reaction to two singles -- Something's Happening and Still Confused -- BigO magazine selected for its New School Rock IV compilation in 1994.)

Although The Mother recorded, mixed and mastered the CD on a shoestring budget, it puts many professional efforts to shame.

The album opens with Razali's voice alone introducing the melody of Fooling The People We Know So Well. Then his dirty guitar line kicks in against the beat of a drum machine and Dark Trip is off to shining start.

The track winds down into the refrain down below/down we go/till we let the poison flow, in a manner will leave it echoing through your head all day.

The third track Grunts is as about as heavy as The Mother gets and should delight Singapore's sizeable metalhead segment.

It is followed by The New Bong, which like three of the other tracks on the album, is identified as an "incomplete work" on the CD cover. You could have fooled me. With its ringing guitars set against all manner of swirling sounds, it is as original as music gets these days.

Other highlights among the album's 12 tracks include the driving Watch The Sunset, the scratchy It Works, droning Like Diamonds and daunting Swansong.

And Hogan's delicate guitar lines help transform Your Face into an instant classic. Rarely has a song sounded so lean, mean and fresh.

It is another of the many tracks made by Singapore bands that would become a hit if only radio would play it.

But don't hold your breath. Turn off your radio and buy the CD instead.

Come to think of it, it would make the perfect gift on Sunday for hip mothers. - The Straits Times

"The Mother"

Every once in a blue moon a band comes along that defies gravity & conventional audio-physics. The Mother is just that kind of a great mystifying enigmatic band.

These eclectic artists from Singapore confound a listener with a blend of subtle intensity that melds a sonic percussive overdrive with superb digital delayed guitars awash in reverb a la U2.

The curious anomaly about The Mother, is not the fact that their musical influences drip with a seductive honey blend of Euro-British panache; but within this framework, the vocal inflections are lyrically subliminal & simultaneously analytical.

This enigmatic quality to The Mothers musical cadence & stylistic vision, is further hypnotizing by the overall dark melodic content & compositional structure of their work.

The Mother traverse far beyond the now generic label of alternative , to a musical plateau of originality & creative fire that stoke their production components to an other-wordly feel & flavor all derived of their nocturnal instincts.

To take a jewel of an example , one only need listen to the surreal cut "Little Girl I Once Knew"-from the "Flush After Use" compilation. This fantastic epic is a prime example of a stunning song & one that leaps & bounds beyond contemporary tunes.

Upon Listening to a song of this caliber, one comes to the realization that the circumstances surrounding the birth of The Mother as a formidable world act are a forgone conclusion.

The cuts on the superb "A Dark Trip On The Ill Tip" album offer a plethora of moody dark post modern songs that shine with finesse & power. A hard edged intensity filters some of the work & is accented by the astute guitar textures that are conjured up from a caldron of alternative audio-perception.

The Mother create a musical atmospheric depth that is perplexing in its ethereal & ghostly shadings. One is reminded of the movie "The Crow"; Wherein the hero has an air of subterranean sinister quality on the outside of the facade. In actuality the eternal soul of the character is quite the antithesis of evil.

Love & obsession indeed can have a mesmeric detached aura in it's reflective capacity to send chills down the spine. Yet within the riveting production of the Mother's music is an underlying velvety sheen that is choc-full of melodic ambience & minor configurated chordal patterns that would satisfy those that seek core industrial & hard rock elements.

Ultimately, the grandeur of The Mother's sound pierces through the underground metropolis & brilliantly & defiantly displays it's cunning & chops; Along with a cryptic beauty & unique power.

The Mother display a magic that many bands aspire to, but fall short. The charisma of understatement coupled with the attitude that is effortless & yet direct in it's uncanny ability to beguile.

Look for The Mother to crash the shores of North America, Europe & Asia in the near future. There is an undeniable mysterious energy & magnetic sway that The Mother bring to the arena of sound.

The soul that inhabits the body of The Mother is one of an enormous magnitude that cannot be measured or conceived of by the mortal mind. Music of this nature has a hidden quality that is capable of traversing the world & beyond. For there are no true barriers for The Mother as a band; Only those that are created by the finite limitations of the mind. - United Global Artists


From "The Mother's first demo" (1992)
1) Wings in the sea
2) Why can't I?
3) The beginning of the end

From "BigO New School Rock IV" compilation (1994)
1) Something's happening
2) Still confused

From "Flush After Use" compilation (1996)
1. The little girl I once knew
2. End of the world

From "A Dark Trip on the Ill Tip" album (2001)
1. Fooling the people we know so well
2. Your face
3. Grunts
4. The new bong
5. Watch the sunset
6. It works
7. Like diamonds
8. Strays
9. The mirror
10. Swansong
11. Fantasies
12. Ecaf ruoy (instrumental)

Soundtrack from the film "Klise" (2004)
1. Jangan (in Malay)

From "Lost Shadow in the Dark" album (due early 2007)
1. Lights out
2. When darkness falls
3. Doomed
4. Broken mirrors
5. Smile
6. The wedding present
7. Watch me
8. When dreamers die
9. Suoiciv Dis
10. A dark trip on the ill tip


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Mother is the brainchild of singer-songwriter Razali Abdullah aka Jalisetan, who takes on commercial composing jobs and channels the income towards producing the kind of music he's really into. The tracks listed on the EPK reflects this. While "Overflow", written for a charity project, is a pop/inspirational tune which could fit into any mainstream radio format, "Broken Mirrors" and "Doomed" are songs of darkness and despair which take the listener to a gloomy world where melancholy reigns. Like most Singapore artists, The Mother is largely ignored in its homeland, but critically acclaimed in America. In 1994, Janiss Garza, then editor of world-renowned American magazine RIP, described the band as "fresher than most British bands, which tend to get a little uppity and pretentious".

It was Los Angeles artist promoter United Global Artists (UGA) who dragged the band out of retirement. Describing The Mother as a band that "defies gravity and conventional audio-physics", UGA has been actively promoting this Singaporean outfit to North America, the UK and Japan.

The Mother is currently putting the final touches to its second album Lost Shadow In The Dark, a project that has been in gestation since 2001. According to Razali, it has taken so long for the band to produce its sophomore release because the songwriting process became much more elaborate than before. "Maybe it's the Pink Floyd influence, but we found ourselves toying with various song structures, arrangements and melodies," says Razali. "We also experimented with various mics and pre-amps and outboard processors and plug-ins, and sometimes we recorded the same songs under various conditions."

And the final result? Look out for Lost Shadows In The Dark when it reaches your shores in early 2007. For samples, write to