Release Date: May 3, 2019
Record label: Exploding in Sound
Midway through Pile's new album comes one of the best and most unusual protest songs of the Trump era. Its title, "The Soft Hands of Stephen Miller," resembles an ironic in-joke. Except Pile's singer Rick Maguire is not at all joking. Over a serrated guitar riff that sounds like a Jesus Lizard record-skip--relentlessly repeating even when every other instrument strives to sabotage it--Maguire lays into the president's xenophobic policy advisor.
Boston's Pile grew from the anxiety-ridden solo project of bandleader Rick Maguire into a finely tuned group who worked in the dark netherworld between post-hardcore and abstract indie rock. The band developed an exceptionally devoted following through their tireless touring and non-stop album release schedule, and 2019's Green and Gray is Pile's seventh full-length album since their inception just over a decade earlier. The group's commitment to constant evolution is audible throughout Green and Gray in its tightly wound songs that meld the ferocity of the band's live show with a densely layered production approach.