Max Bien Kahn ⫸ ⫸ ⫸ ⫸ ⫸ ⫸
Max Bien-Kahn is a songwriter and musician based in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he is the bandleader and creative force behind Max and the Martians. In the spirit of his adopted home city, his resume is bursting with musical partnerships: he has spent the last decade playing full-time with Tuba Skinny, a band built around the musical traditions of New Orleans, working as a studio session player and back-up musician, and collaborating with songwriters like Esther Rose, Duff Thompson, and Steph Green. Max also contributed to the landmark Mashed Potato Record compilations, a collection of NOLA’s most exciting artists and a testament to the city’s continued musical vitality.
All The Same
Perpetual Doom is proud to present the second full-length album from Max and the Martians: All the Same. Masterminded by songwriter Max Bien-Kahn, Max and the Martians features a cast of all-star musicians spun from the restless world of New Orleans nightlife. Their self-titled debut appeared in 2016, Curtains EP in 2019, and Stay at Home Demos in 2020. All the Same follows those projects up with a statement, sharpening the Martians' wounded country sound into resolute, danceable rock and roll.
That statement arrives under punch-drunk keys and relentlessly staccato snare. Max opens the record with an unlikely invitation: “I’ll just wait in this burning building,” he sings as the track builds, “It’s all the same to me and you.” Care to join him? All the Same is a record for dancing while the building burns—it’s the sound of freedom mingling with unease. “I’ve been waiting for the summer, but the summer came too fast” quips the rowdy “Love on Vacation.” These tracks confront heartbreak, grief, and that creeping sense of unease at summer’s end. But if these are sad songs, Max and the Martians do not believe sad songs need make you cry. Max insists that even the saddest songs can make you want to dance and even laugh a little. Assisted by engineer and co-producer Ross Farbe, Max crafts arrangements that can fan that blazing building into a fury (“Milky Way,” “Please Remember”) or bring it to soft glow (“Lust Will Linger,” “Lay Your Body”). The house lights come down on lead single “Please Hold On,” where the band revives a country swing: “I’ll be a flash of light for your weathered mind, if you hold on.”
It is a promise that speaks for the entire record, which brings together talent from across the Big Easy. In the tradition of that city, the album features contributions from musicians (Ray Micarelli, Chris Booth, Gina Leslie, Shaye Cohn) and vocalists (Esther Rose, Sabine McCalla, Gina Leslie, Camille Weatherford, and Carver Baronda) who are also songwriters and bandleaders. Backed by this enormous supporting cast, All the Same is Max and the Martians’ reaching new heights.
Release Date: March 12, 2021
On The Floor EP
Max’s latest release under his own name, On the Floor EP, reveals a different side of the charging songwriting found under the Max and the Martians moniker. This collection gathers three b-sides from the All the Same sessions alongside an unreleased demo, all of which showcase the rambling, bare-bones feel of the Martian’s live sound. The first, unreleased track, “It’s Only You,” is what Max calls “a nod to old swamp pop,” an old school mix of early rock and roll and traditional Cajun music. “Death Dance (Alternate)” infuses the same frantic energy into a peppier version of the album cut, while “Please Hold On (Solo)” strips that song of everything but raw nerves. Closing with “Wrong Time,” a full band number about loneliness in the city, On the Floor offers something for fans of the Martians and new listeners alike: heartfelt, joyous, and daring rock and roll.
Release Date: Dec. 3, 2021
Purchase from Bandcamp