From their earliest days as the solo project of frontman Rick Maguire, Pile have followed an unusual path through a decade in which rock bands have generally receded from the cultural spotlight. Starting out in 2007, in the then thriving Boston DIY scene, the band rapidly became heroes and standard-bearers for their hometown’s music community, garnering a cultish-adoration that has only intensified as that cult has grown, expanding by word of mouth along the Eastern seaboard and across the country over 10 years that have seen 6 full length albums and 100s of shows in basements, bars, punk houses and clubs.
With their last full length, 2017’s A Hairshirt of Purpose, Pile found their widest audience to date. Hailed as a release that communicated the inimitable quality of the live shows that have made the band near-legendary in certain circles, the album received praise from all quarters, earning them a critical-acclaim commensurate with the adoration, heaped on them by their contemporaries, that has long granted them “your favorite band’s favorite band” status.
Today, Pile are announcing their 7th album, Green and Gray, which will be out on May 3rd via Exploding In Sound, and sharing the album’s first single “Bruxist Grin.” Packed with the kind of hairpin dynamic shifts that have become Pile’s hallmark, the track, with the aid of the album’s engineer Kevin S. McMahon (Titus Andronicus, Frightened Rabbit, The Walkmen, Swans), opens up the space between the two poles of the Pile’s sound. Showcasing Maguire’s powerful voice, the track pulls from a seemingly bottomless bag of sonic tricks, shifting seamlessly from delicate acoustic guitar figures to pummeling full band rhythmic turns, relating the experience of Maguire’s first panic attack with an almost psychedelic flair.
“I wrote “Bruxist Grin” when I was getting ready to move,” Maguire explains. “I’d been showing people my place to take my apartment, and getting my life together to go make this record to then move two days after the session. It was a super tight timeline and I went to bed and had a panic attack. I hadn’t had one before, and I thought it came on kind of like a psychedelic experience, like when the acid starts to kick in and it’s like ‘oh, here we go.’ My heart was pounding and I didn’t know what was happening but I knew that there was a lot about my current way of living that was about to change and I assume it was just my body reacting to all of it. It was pitch black, and I perceived looking at myself and my position to the rest of the world, physically, psychologically and spiritually, and feeling this overwhelming anxiety, and that’s what the song’s about.”
In support of the album the band will be heading out on an extensive North American tour. Full details can be found below.
Green and Gray will be released via Exploding In Sound on May 3rd. It is available for preorder here.
What the press are saying about Pile:
In certain parts of Boston, Pile are beheld with the kind of reverence traditionally reserved for local sporting heroes and/or minor deities…their music crackles and explodes alongside frontman Rick Maguire’s over-firing neurons
Pile is well-known as idols for their peers…The band balances the acrobatic and the annihilating as it shifts between gnarled melodies and heavy thrashing.
Messy, loud, and rhythmically intense…the tension between softer, sadder moments and the abrasive ones feels vital
Refined, delicate songs alongside unnerving inventiveness. It’s rare to say those things about a rock band…but that’s because you can only really say them about this one.
[Pile] have achieved the kind of mythical status typically ascribed to long-since-passed rock legends
A guitar band that doesn’t sound like a guitar band; there’s something intense and brave about them, but it feels feminine, not macho, not over the top
Consequence Of Sound
[Pile have] a nimble sense of timing more often associated with jazz or classical musicians, and a compositional ambition exceeding that of nearly all of their peers
Vivid and refined…[Pile have a] delirious energy that’s inspired a decade’s worth of devoted followers.