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Killergrams - EP Review: Lonely Nights In A Little Town

27 Oct 2023 // A review 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.

Lost My Mind is the opening track from Arrowtown’s Killergrams’ new EP, Lonely Nights In A Little Town, which must mean there are at least two nights every year in Arrowtown when there’s nothing to do but write songs. Which is a surprise to me, Arrowtown has never been lonely in my experience. But I haven’t lived there, certainly not during those two nights. And songwriters have to write, yes?

So, I’ll put it down to a figurative moment in Tom’s life, and after listening a few times to the record, let’s hope there are many more of them! Lonely nights for writing, that is...

Killergrams is the project of Arrowtown singer/songwriter Tom Maxwell. He has a touring band comprising his brother Sam on bass, Reuben Pearce on drums, Nick lynch on keys and Tom himself on guitars. This is their second EP. 

Lost My Mind is a heartfelt episode of pain and panic and opens this 5-song sophomore effort. All the Killergrams‘ blurb points to Alt and Country, and this is true, but some of it might be closer to Emo Country, especially with Ryan Fisherman’s influence. 

Let’s put it Another Way Out, a recovery and acceptance phase with meandering acoustic and moaning guitars, must be a pedal in there, definitely Elmore Jones, the song building and settling.

A piano intro in the same mournful tone, a heavy ballad which indicates there’s always a potential for relapse. Throwaway Goodbye, there’s no use for them, except a Beatles flavour with vocals and rhythm getting stronger by the chord.

The style so far is pleasingly predictable, slow start and moments of explosive emotion before the song becomes a song. 

To Lose You kicks off in a much more positive acoustic tone, but the tenor is still sombre and sad. Another lonely night in a little town, but a high point so far in a strong collection of songs.

And, finally, wallop! We’re nearly rocking from the beginning but not quite, because childhood trauma takes control behind cloistered reverb vocals which mimic the distortion of time passing and forgotten memories emerging from When I Was A Lonely Child. 

Tom Maxwell writes sad songs, at least on lonely nights, but the superb recording in Ben Edward’s Lyttleton Sitting Room and the deft instrumental touches from the aforementioned Elmore Jones (Adam Hattaway and the Haunters) and Ryan Fisherman (The Emo Country man) make this compelling listening if only to feed the frenzy for more, more, more and there are another five tracks in the digital can and maybe a southern rocker or two on the next outing?

Lonely Nights In A Little Town is out now. Go take a loud, lonely listen.


About Killergrams

Killergrams are an Arrowtown based, alt-country/rock band. Members and brothers Tom and Sam Maxwell (The Seaside Stranglers) sharing vocals and guitars, along with pianist Nick Lynch and drummer Reuben Pearce are celebrating the imminent release of their sophomore album Lonely Nights In A Little Town which had it's first two singles Back Door Blues and My Indecision (featuring Ryan Fisherman on pedal steel) released in July and August.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Killergrams


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