Release Date: Mar 31, 2017
Record label: Exploding In Sound
Pile's new LP, A Hairshirt of Purpose, has a warmth to it that sets it apart from 2015's, You're Better Than This. Songs move slower, develop at their own pace, and leave space for Rick Maguire's incisive self-reflections and ruminations. His trademark songwriting style is still impossible to miss, however. His vocals slide off of, onto and around their expected resolutions; he stretches melodic phrases across the band's dexterous grooves against all expectation and jumps from a drawl to a falsetto without warning. Although there are the expected ferocious bangers to be found in "Hissing For Peace" or "Texas," the meat of this record is its gorgeous, winding ballads.
It's impossible to talk about Pile without talking about their fans. With every album, the Boston rock band's ascent continues by word of mouth. And yet, Pile reside in a state of relative self-sabotage, as if to punish themselves for all of the adulation. The energy of their recorded material pales in comparison to that of their live shows, where their cult inducts new followers effortlessly.