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New Music

New Music: Pile – “Texas”

In 2012, Pile released their third album Dripping, one of the best heavy rock albums of recent memory, and got little to no attention from the music press for it. Since then, the Massachusetts quartet’s status as a beloved cult phenomenon has slowly but surely approached what feels like an inevitable breaking point: There was the solid fourth album You’re Better Than This, the growing crowds at their ecstatically rowdy shows, the concept record about obsessive Pile fandom from their fellow Boston basement-show bashers in Krill. In March, they’ll release their fifth full-length A Hairshirt of Purpose via Exploding in Sound, and today they share first single “Texas.”

Without knowing what the rest of the album sounds like, “Texas” seems like an odd choice to release first. Pile’s most affecting songs place the urgency of hardcore punk and its more emotional descendants into the slowly unfolding and sometimes confounding structures of post-rock and prog. “Texas” is taut and intense, with frontman Rick Maguire snarling like Steve Albini over a serrated asymmetrical groove–it reminds me more of mid-album rhythmic workouts like “Grunt Like a Pig” than the anthems that usually serve as Pile’s tentpoles. It will certainly get the mosh pit going at their next show. Listen below.