27 Feb 2024
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

D.C. Maxwell - Album Review: Lone Rider

24 Oct 2023 // A review by roger.bowie

I’ve Been Wrong, but every once in a while, someone comes along and knocks you out. Random violence is not what this is about, but D.C. Maxwell sings about it, a lot, in a heartfelt, Marlon kind of way and last month at the Wine Cellar, during the Going Global showcases I received the figurative gut punch and uppercut and there I was, dumbfounded and struck.

I’ve been wrong before, but not very often, and D.C. Maxwell’s debut album, Lone Rider, announces a rare talent in the neo-punk noir country space, places occupied before by the likes of Elvis Costello and Nick Cave and Delaney Davidson & Marlon Williams, and Darcy Clay and you get a clue in the opening track which is a simple ballad pleading for understanding, I’ve Been Wrong but really I’m a good man, and just about the time when there’s a reference to being as evil as Darcy Clay’s Jesus, there’s a cacophony of saxophone (which could only be JY Lee) to tell you that all is not as it seems.

No, indeed, things are not as they seem, for The Leading Man, drunk as a skunk on stage and muffing his lines is about to be taken out, live, then dead, on stage, by the one-line actor “I’m going to kill you” and he does, to rapturous applause.

D.C. Maxwell used to be in a punk band, and it shows in his moves, as contorted as his voice can be, an occasional explosion of gyration you would see in Jon Spencer. A punk riding horses, and the blatant criminality continues with Out Stealing Horses all blood and guts and Enrico and spaghetti and of course they are way out west, a lady with her horse thief man, and it doesn’t end well, just a repeated drum roll as the dawn arrives too late. 

This is primarily an album review, but picture this also, if you please, a band and a string ensemble in St Mary’s in Holy Trinity, the holiest of acoustic perfection and the song is about an alcoholic desperate for a drink as he picks up his daughter from rehab after a fatal crash, more booming spaghetti western guitar, why, oh why, only Silence in the Sky for an answer. Picture that, because D.C. Maxwell finished the release tour for his album on a recent September Friday night in church, begging forgiveness for being so dark and enthralling and just about perfect, a Lone Rider in the rain, heavenly strings from Charmian Key (at least on the record). 

Peter Ruddell on piano introduces the jilted bride at the altar Waiting For My Man To Come, a sad song which echoes Elton John's great songs from the west coast and the jilted bride is now old and still waiting.

And the tales of murder and mayhem and thievery unfold, both real and symbolic, suppressed in the banality of ordinary bland lives lived blandly, if it weren’t for the dark secrets that exist along the Faultline(s) of the human condition. All is never as it seems.

Which erupts into the unequivocal, as the unhinged bank robber cuts loose on his hostages when the alarm is triggered and so is he. It’s not his fault of course, but everyone must die, and the confronting nature of the lyric is mellowed by the music which marches on regardless. An unfortunately topical song of violence and desperation, especially when The Last Stand of the Killer is performed live in church.

Things have to simmer down after this, but the darkness abides, a tale about the Prizefighter, suffering at home in battered silence after the glory of the victory.

And it ends in the morning with you, I’m With You, a sweet ballad no longer of murder but of love and hope and normality and the aforementioned banality of life, and after the journey D.C. Maxwell has taken us on, it is calming and therapeutic to bask in everyday life lived simply with over and not under tones and which sounds like a hymn when sung live in church. Redemptive. 

Whew… check out D.C.Maxwell’s debut release, Lone Rider. It’s out on Danger Collective Records which is no coincidence. And it’s quite extraordinary.

 

About D.C. Maxwell

D.C. Maxwell is an alt-country singer-songwriter from T?maki Makaurau, New Zealand.

With the frenetic energy of a punk preacher, Maxwell puts a new spin on the 1970's outlaw country of Lee Hazlewood and Townes Van Zandt.

A troubadour, a magnetic performer, but foremost a storyteller, Maxwell’s live show see’s him physically embody each of his song’s characters with passion. The mosaic of his songs creates a world of love and loss in roadside motel rooms, and the inner lives of small town dreamers majestic as the plains.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for D.C. Maxwell

Releases

Lone Rider
Year: 2023
Type: Album

Other Reviews By roger.bowie

Album Review: Subset BC
16 Dec 2023 // by roger.bowie
Here’s an interesting little thing from Gisborne. A funky little band with three bass players.
Read More...
Gig Review: The Best of Come Together @ The Civic Theatre, Auckland - 9/12/2023
12 Dec 2023 // by roger.bowie
Get your heads around this line-up:  The singers: Jon Toogood, (lead and backing vocals), Julia Deans (lead and backing vocals), Dianne Swann (lead and backing vocals and occasional guitar), Samuel Flynn Scott (vocals and guitar), James Milne (lead and backing vocals), Milan Borich (Mick vocals) The players: Jol Mulholland (guitars and vocals), Brett Adams (lead guitar and vocals), Mike Hall (bass), Matthias Jordan (keyboards), Alastair Deverick (drums), Finn Scholes (trumpet, clarinet and percussion), Nick Atkinson (sax and percussion).  Stopped spinning?
Read More...
A Crude Mechanical - Album Review: Discourse
08 Dec 2023 // by roger.bowie
Shane Warbrooke doesn’t believe in lyrics, because of the risk of lyrics being hi-jacked and meanings bent to suit ideologies which he doesn’t like. Well, such ideologies which most of us don’t like, truth be known, but then again, Beethoven didn’t write lyrics, so the freedom of speech counter argument only goes so far.
Read More...
Gig Review: The Phoenix Foundation @ Hollywood Avondale, Auckland - 24/11/2023
26 Nov 2023 // by roger.bowie
This is a first of many things. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen The Phoenix Foundation play live.
Read More...
Velvet Arrow - Album Review: Songs of Solitude
17 Nov 2023 // by roger.bowie
A Song Of Hope & Fear would normally be a contradiction in terms unless darkness prevails and light shines through, which is an appropriate metaphor for the debut album from Whangarei’s Velvet Arrow and the opening song, with Dan Stenhouse’s husky voice helping us through the night against a ghostly horror wail from Hannah Jane. After all it’s just a song to help you through the night, just the words that speak, it’s not real.
Read More...
Gig Review: Atomic: Women of Rock @ The Civic, Auckland - 11/11/2023
13 Nov 2023 // by roger.bowie
What a feast of nostalgia we’ve had from Liberty Stage (Simone Williams) these past few years, as New Zealand’s finest have Come Together to cover the classic albums which made the soundtracks of our youth. In addition to this, there have also been special tributes like Tami Neilson’s rock ‘n roll party with Dinah Lee, just last month.
Read More...
Dimmer - Album Review: Live At The Hollywood
09 Nov 2023 // by roger.bowie
Wow, not very often that we see alive album these days, an unusual beast, but that’s we have, a 14-track monster from Dimmer, recorded from last year’s sold-out trilogy at the Hollywood Avondale. Which, if you didn’t get to go last year, you can still see on December 2nd at the Powerstation, unless, like me, you are going instead to The War on Drugs.
Read More...
Killergrams - EP Review: Lonely Nights In A Little Town
27 Oct 2023 // by roger.bowie
Someone walked out, and Tom Maxwell has lost his mind, in a gentle, acoustic way. Then his mind explodes in a cacophony of chaos, which might just be what it feels like, losing something that important.
Read More...
View All Articles By roger.bowie

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • TEXAS HOLD 'EM
    Beyonce
  • PRAISE JAH IN THE MOONLIGHT
    YG Marley
  • BEAUTIFUL THINGS
    Benson Boone
  • STICK SEASON
    Noah Kahan
  • LOSE CONTROL
    Teddy Swims
  • LOVIN ON ME
    Jack Harlow
  • CRUEL SUMMER
    Taylor Swift
  • GREEDY
    Tate McRae
  • SNOOZE
    SZA
  • TRAINING SEASON
    Dua Lipa
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem