Maximilian Eubank


Des Moines Juice

Caffeine For Your Ears Maximilian Eubank will be on the acoustic stage at Little Big Fest, but the 26-year-old musician was once a part of the local jam scene. He fronted the band Euforia before heading off to college in Colorado. There he began performing in coffee shops as a solo singer-songwriter. "The biggest change for me was learning how to write for one person," said Eubank, who returned to his hometown in 2006. "I had done songs for two vocalists and doing songs that would lead into a sweet fill or a solo. Playing solo is not that different when it comes to songwriting, but when you mess up, everyone knows. When you're in a band with seven people, no one can tell." This summer was a busy one for Eubank: He landed a spot at the 80/35 Music Festival as well as Camp Euforia near Iowa City. When he wasn't playing music, he was studying for the bar exam. (He passed, and is now working as an associate attorney.) "I was studying so much this summer that those shows were like a night off for me," Eubank said. "When you're playing in front of so many people and you can hear them singing your words it makes you want to play all night long." Eubank's LBF show will be all original tunes, but at other venues he sometimes performs for up to four hours, covering songs by Bob Marley, Sublime, Jason Brown, Phish, and some out-there selections like Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone." He also has a few original rap tunes he'll throw in from time to time. Eubank is currently gathering songs for an album he hopes to record in 2010, his third in as many years. While the first two albums were acoustic, he hopes to incorporate a rhythm section, piano and other musicians to expand his sound. For Little Big Fest he will be solo, but he wants his show to be as lively as any band there. "I'm going to try to keep the mellow songs out, or to a minimum," Eubank said. "I want to get people revved up. We're not at the coffee shops anymore."

Maximilian Eubank isn't trying to break any new ground with Standby, but that's quite fine. The music within is a pleasant mix of acoustic pop and folk rock. Eubank has a good voice for such material and sings with passion, but with a proper amount of restraint as well. The songs aren't too wordy and flow very nicely. There are some well-executed vocal harmonies offered up here, and the guitar work is impressive. One of the more noteable aspects about this CD is the mix. The guitars sound beautiful and add to the overall feel of the music. The music is generally in that Jack Johnson/ Dave Matthews vein, but really, Eubank does have his own voice and writes some vivid lyrics as well. Opener "Soliloquy" is a real standout and worthy of repeated plays, and tracks such as "Not Make Believe," "Crescendo," and "I Will Be Somebody" are all solid, with the latter track having some especially strong guitar breaks. All of the choruses stick with the listener, and the feel is there on each track. "More To Life Than Roses" even has a bit of a country sound to it. At times however, the songs do hang around a little too long and perhaps some trimming would help, but this is a minor complaint. Eubank has crafted some great-sounding music which should instantly make you feel good. You might even want to do nude gardening or dance with your cat. Now that's a testament to fine music if I've ever heard one.

Daily Iowan

Native Des Moines musician Maximilian Eubank will play 80/35 on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. on the Meredith West Stage. “[Playing solo] is a little scary, because you don’t have a full band behind you,” he said. “If you screw up, everyone’s going to know.” Eubank, an acoustic singer/songwriter who started playing guitar in 1997, split with his high-school rock band after moving to Colorado to pursue his undergraduate work, and he returned to Iowa a few years ago to continue his education and write and play his music for local audiences. “I’m so excited about 80/35,” he said. “It’s going to be a great opportunity for me to get my music out there.” The singer said that his love of his home state and his connection to family and friends here were a strong motivation to stay in and perform around Des Moines in various bars and musical locales. “I actually came back to play music with my buddy [and former bandmate] Brian,” he said. “He was diagnosed with cancer and passed away earlier in January. The whole time I was packing [in Colorado], I was saying, ‘Brian, we need to get ready to start playing music together again.’ And then I get back, and he was in the hospital, basically until the end. So I don’t regret coming back at all. But [Brian] should be here with me.” Eubank occasionally meets up to play with his former and now Iowa City-based band, and he will on July 17 at Camp Euforia, in Lone Tree, but his individual work is his musical focus now. Eubank’s sound is refreshing and light, and his plucky guitar skills and husky vocals are reminiscent of a worldlier Jack Johnson. “[After 80/35] I don’t have anything planned, because I’m taking the bar exam,” the Drake University Law School graduate said. “So I’ve been — and will be — studying a lot.”

URB Magazine

Maximilian Eubank is not your average acoustic guitarist. His rhythmic strumming is accompanied by country/folkish vocals that sometimes suddenly bust out into tongue-twisting, strangely good raps. It’s like Tenacious D – with real substance behind the novelty. “Not Make Believe” is one of his more traditional acoustic tracks, soaked in his signature introspective lyrics. I highly recommend checking out some of his other stuff to see what he is fully capable of.

Des Moines Music Coalition

Des Moines singer/songwriter Maximilian Eubank's "10:00 in the Afternoon" is a stellar acoustic gem that, while reminiscent of many of the well-known national acts of this particular category, has a brilliance all of its own. Borrowing from the influence of many different musical genres, it's hard to categorize just what it is that makes it tick. Some songs have more of a bluesy folk feel, some are a soulful indie alt-rock flavor, while others are simply acoustic rock at its finest. Eubank sings his original, deep, and sometimes quirky lyrics with a profound conviction and a vocal clarity that sweeps you up and forces you to listen to what he is actually saying. There are no empty lyrics here; everything has a meaning and a purpose, like poetry set to music. Several of the songs come at you with an effortless rapid-fire storytelling that leaves you practically breathless, while some are pure earnest enthusiasm set to catchy melodies and smooth acoustic riffs. Eubank doesn't stick to the traditional and sometimes clichéd topics that have become commonplace in this genre; instead, he strays from the safe and tackles a wider range of subject matter that makes you think and might possibly even startle you. Eubank's vocals shine so clearly that it would almost be tragic to add in any more accompanying instrumentation - his voice and his guitar are a perfect match, and they need nothing else. "10:00 in the Afternoon" is clearly just a snapshot of the talent that created it, and is a must-listen for any true music lover.

10:00 in the Afternoon is a poetic twist of words and grooves that captures the listener immediately but keeps the lyrical hijinx coming with each tune. Maximilian Eubank is an engaging writer with a sense of humor and a unique outlook on the world. Reminiscent of Howie Day or Jason Mraz, Eubank presents himself with just vocals and acoustic guitar. It works because he is a unique writer and offers variety with his vocal techniques and stylings. He can go from speech-singing to a falsetto in one note, and his voice easily handles everything from pop to rap to blues. "Drooling" is a good twist on that age-old song topic of spotting a hot person across the room. It takes us from, "You been winking at me and I been winking at you" to "I can't separate myself from the sound of love." It's a tune that could easily be on everyone's summer soundtrack with some good sing-along acrobatics to it. "Lawman Says Amen" is the more traditional fingerstyle acoustic groove that singer-songwriters are known for, but Eubank varies the rhythms and groove enough that it could almost be an instrumental. His melodic lines are excellent in both his chords and his words. Surprises are scattered throughout the record, like a whistle solo on "S'aint No Sunday Song" to catchy riffs like the intro and almost country-fied solo in "Pick Your Poison." Somewhere along the line it became cute for folkie singer-songwriters to have a token rap song in their arsenal in an attempt to look varied and open to other styles of music. Many times it just sounds like a folk singer trying to sing fast and failing to be cool. On "Pick of the Litter," Eubank actually pulls it off; he raps the verses and launches into a singable chorus. The song takes a stand and declares that what Eubank has to say is relevant and deserves a listen. Indeed it does.

Des Moines Register Datebook

When Maximilian Eubank crosses the stage of the Drake University Law School commencement ceremony next spring and has a law degree placed in his hand, he might just have a guitar in the other. "I've made my choice. I am not going to be a lawyer. That is just not me," Eubank said. "I am trying to ride the music thing as hard as I can while I am here." When Eubank takes the stage to play, he is a solo act, precisely picking and stroking the strings on his acoustic Taylor guitar. Playing solo ensures that the audience hears every delicious lick, slide, pull off and hammer. The song "Lawman Says Amen," for example, showcases his mastery of guitar picking and power chords before settling into a jazzy groove. His vocals are laced with emotion and are delivered with the same meticulous care. His autobiographical lyrics touch on the range of emotion. "When I write a song, it is kind of like creating a musical diary," Eubank said. "Sometimes I don't want to show it to people, because it's a piece of me." For example, "Pick of the Litter," is a "lashing out song" at those who doubted him and his desire to take music seriously. Musically, it is fascinating, using rap-style lyrics backed only by his strumming. It's hip-hop unplugged. By contrast, "More to Life than Roses" shows a more tender side of him. It is a soft, contemplative ballad with intricate fingering, reminiscent of Jimmy Page. "That song is about looking for love ... and once you find it, running away because you don't understand it," Eubank said. Eubank listens to a broad range of music from Led Zeppelin to Mos Def and from Black Sabbath to Al Green. In particular, he cites the influence of Jack Johnson, Martin Sexton and Jason Mraz. Eubank has been playing guitar more than a dozen years. While majoring in business at the University of Colorado, Boulder, he began to play solo gigs. Three years ago he began performing steadily while going to law school. He released his first CD, "10:00 in the afternoon," this year. After graduation, he says further business education is a possibility. "You would think it would be easy to pick [music or a corporate career]," he said. "I would love to play music the rest of my life, but it depends on other factors than my wants and desires." When Eubank receives his juris doctorate, he will have two higher-education degrees that would pull him in starkly different directions from music. Choosing which road to take can't be an easy one. But his fans know which one they want him to take.