Exposé Online banner

Only a Mother — Feral Chickens
(TEC Tones 95002, 1995, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-02-01

Feral Chickens Cover art

What do you get when you combine five highly original and multi-talented musicians with a veritable endless supply of musical instruments? Man, I'd hate to be a roadie for these guys, you'd need to drive a Bekins van of musical odds and ends to every gig. You name it, they play it — zither, bass, pump organ, bassoon, saxes, ukelele, banjo, clarinet, melodica, violin, cello, harmonium, trombone, bongos, guitar, drums, piano, ephicleide. Ephicleide? What the heck is that?! And did I mention the male and female lead vocals? Even at that, they still have guest musicians playing additional banjo, vocals, and accordion, among them Amy Denio and Eugene Chadbourne. From all this, Only a Mother have created their own unique and somewhat bizarre collision of styles that falls somewhere between unplugged European folk and American jugband, with some jazz, classical, and avant-garde elements added for good measure, and a twisted lyrical style that might recall The Residents. This is very odd music, as you might imagine, and thus nearly impossible to describe in any kind of comparative terms. All the tunes are originals, with the exception of their cover of the Stones' "Mother's Little Helper." This is their third or fourth album, and I must confess to not having heard any of the earlier ones. Yet. File under interesting, unusual, and adventurous.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 11, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Amy Denio, Frank Pahl, Only a Mother

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

David Pack - The Secret of Movin' On – Former Ambrosia guitarist and vocalist David Pack has become the quintessential example of L.A. pop music roadkill. Well past his peak of commercial success and fame and ten years since his last solo...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues