Hailing from Boston, indie rock and grunge-punk band Pile, is the band other bands have dreams of. They have a shout out in Krill’s 2014 EP Steve Hears Pile In Malden And Bursts Into Tears. If any of the members of Pile were at a bar with other musicians, they would get so many drinks from the bartender saying, “It’s from the gentleman across the room.” Said gentleman would be gazing at let’s say lead singer Rick Maguire and wink. Maguire would chug the beer then smash the bottle. They are a chaotic mixture of unexplainable emotions. Their sound has a vintage quality that makes you miss your mom and pops, but an erratic rhythm that makes you want to punch a baby. (Let us all refrain from punching babies please, unless of course they are asking for it.)
You’re Better Than This was released March 3rd, the second album produced by Ben Brodin and released by Exploding in Sounds Records, whose debut was the 2012 album Dripping. The album opens with “The World Is Your Motel,” a fast paced song with the signature raw voice of Robert Maguire. At a first listen it sounds like just ranting, I honestly have no idea what the exact lyrics are and they are definitely not on A-Z lyrics, but that’s the beauty of it you know? At one point Maguire is wailing “It’s fine!/ I keep a good attitude/ But I’ll never be Elvis I guess/ Just one big, moist bag of garbage.” He then goes on to mumble something short in between then straight to “Dumpy woman in a tracksuit” longest pause which is barely a second, “It’s all the same to me!” That is the first coherent thing on the album that I was able to hear upon first listen (I have been listening to the album on a loop for 5 hours) and felt crummy. Now every time I am sauntering around in a tracksuit I will have that line echoing in my head.
“Mr. Fish” follows and immediately reminded me of Magic Isn’t Real, which is the album that I fell head over heels in love with. It is an absurd tale of a Mr. Daryl Fish.
According to an interview from Consequence of Sound with Rick Maguire, “He’s a semi-fictional, but he’s based off a guy in Boston, in the Allston or Cambridge area. I don’t know what sort of mental illness he carries, but it’s a strong, invasive one. I’ve been told schizophrenia, but I think people just slap that on. He definitely has a detachment from reality, whatever that is.”
The similarity in Maguire’s voice to Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel is overwhelming and undeniable in “Mr. Fish.”
Pile is always keeping us on our toes, there is a beautiful guitar picking song that is so soothing and makes you want to curl up with it like a fleece blanket. Ironically it is called, “F*** The Police.”
There is a “Number Two Hit Single,” a follow up to “Number One Hit Single” from Magic Isn’t Real and to end the album is a long complex number, “Appendicitis”. I cannot tell a lie, I cried like a baby and I don’t know why. It nears eight minutes in length and starts off mellow in comparison to typical Pile style. Right after five minutes, the song is silent and goes into shuffling sounds and laughter and a woman saying, “Rock And Roll Forever With The Customer In Mind” which turns out is a hidden track. It’s so upbeat and the definition of rock and roll, keeping us fans is mind.
*stands up and applauds*
Pile will be coming to Black Barbie in Houston on March 16th and if anyone will be attending Austin for SXSW they will be all over performing at different venues March 20th-22nd. I’ll definitely be at the Houston show and most of the Austin shows. Come see me, hold me for I will be over emotional.
For more information check out their website and be sure to check out the album. You’re not better than this; I don’t care how hard you try to convince yourself you are.
By Corina Carrizales