Pile are the best band you’ve never heard. They are a band with a cult following based almost entirely on will power. Well, that’s not entirely true; the band began as the solo project of their wildly charismatic frontman Rick Maguire, and have been active as a full-fledged band since circa 2010, when they released Magic Isn’t Real. Personally, I was introduced to their glorious, chaotic freneticism as live performers at SXSW 2015, and via Stereogum staffer ;Gabriella Tully-Claymore’s appreciation for that year’s album You’re Better Than This.
Two years later, the band is back with their fifth album A Hairshirt Of Purpose, which will be out at the end of March, and if there’s any justice in the world, it will be the record that catapults them to the forefront of national consciousness. There’s never been a year where I felt like I needed the wailing unburdening of noise rock like I do in 2017. That ferocious expenditure of rage is more than present on Hairshirt‘s first single, “Texas,” which you can stream below.
For listeners who aren’t as familiar with the harder, aggressive layers of noise that are sandwiched in between the more melodic indie rock elements, don’t let that discourage you. Sit with the song a couple listens and notice how it begins to unfold and gain momentum. Noise is just another way of expressing disagreement with the world around you, and Maguire calls Hairshirt a record about “the joys of solitude” and “the inescapable selfishness of every action.”
Both of those themes resonate deeply given the rather extreme political context of this year, and even if you’re unconcerned with the higher offices of this country, “Texas” is a gorgeous thrasher that will jolt you out of complacency. Soon, you’ll begin to see why they’ve earned the title of “your favorite band’s favorite band.” In 2017, they’ll skip that step and go straight to becoming your favorite band.
A Hairshirt Of Purpose is out 3/31 via the independent Brooklyn label Exploding In Sound. Pre-order it here.