From country-infused psychedelia to bonafide indie rock, Maine trio Milk St. span the reaches of their sound on new album V3RM0NT.
Milk St. have released V3RM0NT, a singularly unique and expansive record that serves as the Maine trio’s sophomore album.
Detailing the coming-of-age tales of vocalist Jonah Wakefield, the 10-track project spans topics from mental health to mushroom trips, as anchored by the band’s raucous energy.
After a scene-setting intro on the white noise-infused opener Of Mushrooms and Men, Milk St. dive right into proceedings with Peyote.
Drenched in twangy acoustic guitars, the single somehow melds the worlds of psychedelia and country, with Wakefield seamlessly binding the sounds through his unique and offbeat vocal delivery.
Equal parts Mumford and Sons and Rex Orange County, the first track brings Milk St.’s distinct originality to the fore, as Wakefield serves clever one-liners directed at a particularly troublesome ex.
“You’re just the vomit in a toilet bowl at a party,” he sings atop discordant piano keys and harsh instrumentation, “while the last bit of my brain is drowning in Bacardi.”
The pop-punk undertones of Peyote continue on the title track, which makes use of distorted vocals and catchy call-and-response asides.
Glistening hi-hats punctuate Wakefield’s ruminations on an ex who has found a new flame, with crescendoing drum rolls and an overall freneticism echoing his angst.
The blissful cacophony that is Milk St.’s sound is typified by Pixie Cuts And Angel Dust, which sees the return of mandolin-like strings.
Here, the addition of a sunnier bassline veers the track toward pop stylings, with ear-catching moments to be found for the entirety of the song’s runtime.
There’s something to feast your ears on at any given time, from the subtle tinkle of glass percussion to the emo-like delivery of the belting final chorus.
With a title as blissfully disparate as the band itself, Jesus Fish Taco carries the chaotic rhythm of the earlier tracklist while playing with indie-rock flairs.
The guitars feel warmer without losing their edge, as Wakefield pines for an unreciprocated love for which he’d “do anything,” including the big ask that is paying rent.
The album’s slowest and most introspective cut arrives with I Collect Records, which dials down the energy with spoken-word interludes and atmospheric synths.
Sparse in production, the track provides ample room for the band’s reflections on happiness and “carless victories.”
It’s a welcome change of pace that sees Milk St. showcase tender storytelling and a more melancholic sound, which is not to say it’s devoid of the intricate chaos of earlier tracks.
Elsewhere, the band tries their hand at classic rock on Free Acid, where Wakefield pairs his raw vocals with the staples of the genre, from thunderous drum sets to sing-along refrains.
The effortlessness of the track later translates into an entirely instrumental outro, where Milk St. spotlight their collective efforts for a blissful sonic reprieve.
Penultimate track Cycles amps up the cinematic synth sections for a free-spirited reflection on mental health.
Here, the rustic strings remain altogether infectious, with a sunny disposition that belies the track’s otherwise incisive lyrics around depression and anxiety.
Milk St. conclude their sonic journey with final track China Town, which opens with the chatter of songbirds.
Wakefield croons for a lover to stay, with dissonant production producing a head-banging quality that triumphantly bookends the story that is V3RM0NT.
Milk St. will tour their new album with a string of performances slated for throughout this month.
In the meantime, take a trip with the Maine trio with their full album V3RM0NT below.