“Milky Way” is the third single from Max and the Martian’s forthcoming LP, All the Same, out everywhere March 12 on Perpetual Doom. Accompanied by a whimsical music video of cosmic proportions, the track is a punchy retro rock ‘n’ roll number with subtle psychedelic undertones. Catalytic guitar lines and a bubbly bassline lend the song an edge, like a resilient middle finger to last year’s inescapable darkness. Lyrically, “Milky Way” taps into today’s universal need for escapism with playful refrains that are both catchy and wistful: “When I look up at the stars / They don’t seem all that far / One more day / In the Milky Way.” It is a faithful representation of the rest of the material found on All the Same, an album which takes the triumphs and failures of day-to-day life and turns them into danceable, feel-good ditties.
Led by songwriter Max Bien-Kahn, Max and the Martians are a skilled indie outfit whose members and supporting cast includes a variety of talented New Orleans studio cats and scenesters. All the Same marks their second full-length album and their first release since last year’s Stay At Home Demos and 2019’s excellent Curtains EP. As a group, they craft charming garage pop with enough twang to feel relatively Southern, though their diverse ensemble enables them to tackle a wide range of classic American sounds and filter them through a pastiche of contemporary styles.
All the Same is a record that pokes fun at mundane human existence, simultaneously offering an escape from modern day doom and gloom through ten irresistible tunes that jump, swing, and worm their way into your bones with no remorse. Bien-Kahn’s writing style is at once cathartic and humorous, always bolstered by his uncanny knack for melody. “All the Same” and “Love on Vacation” conjure easy grooves that take after The Velvet Underground’s decadent boogies and Beatles-esque sunshine pop, while the breezy “Please Hold On” and “Death Dance,” a bleary breakup song with country-tinged acoustics, fall on the mellow end of Max and the Martian’s musical spectrum without sacrificing any of the band’s zest or Bien-Kahn’s endearing croon.