Pile’s New Album ‘A Hairshirt Of Purpose’ Is What Happens When Post-Punk Gets Pretty

Noisy Boston post-punkers Pile are through burying their melodies in layers and layers of off-kilter and swaying guitar noise. The band — who’ve always sounded a bit like Modest Mouse with a more traditionally gifted lead singer and a more aggressive rhythm section — finally gave in to their melodic leanings on the new album A Hairshirt Of Purpose.

“I tried to be a little bit more thoughtful with the lyrics and acquiesced to some friends’ requests to have the vocals mixed higher,” frontman Rick Maguire told Consequence of Sound. “We experimented with some different instrumentation and even though the songs are pretty stylistically disparate, it feels like a more focused record to me. Overall, I think we’re all pretty proud of this record, and things don’t always turn out that way.”

The resulting record is one where fans don’t have to squint their ears to experience everything that Maguire’s going through. While it’s still a heavy album — the discordant rush of a song like “Texas” won’t be used to soundtrack a picnic any time soon — this is a more nimble and light Pile than we’ve ever seen. There’s even some whistling.

Check out Hairshirt up top and grab it when it drops on March 31 via Exploding in Sound.