Words by Trish Connelly
What initated as a solo project by Rick Maguire (or commonly referred to as “Rick from Pile”) a decade ago has now fostered into one of Boston’s most distinct indie rock groups. After playing shows in his hometown of Boston, Massachusetts, Maguire sought out a drummer leading to the band’s current four piece with Matt Becker on guitar, Matt Connery on bass and Kris Kuss on drums.
Pile’s first full length, Demonstration, was released in 2007, followed by their sophomore album Jerk Routine in 2009 and Magic Isn’t Real with their current lineup in 2010. The following year Pile signed on with Brooklyn’s DIY label, Exploding in Sound, run by Dan Goldin and Dave Spak. The two met through formed music websites, sharing an affinity towards early indie-rock roots. Since its inception in 2011, the label has specialized in curating an eclectic underground roster with bands that they share a mutual genuine affection for. Releasing Dripping (2012), You’re Better Than This (2015) and their latest, A Hairshirt of Purpose (2017), on Exploding in Sound, Goldin asserts that “Pile is the true force behind the label.” Recognized for their consistent touring in the US as well as in Europe, Pile seeks out DIY venues and basement shows while often accustomed to long stretches on the road.
Much of A Hairshirt of Purpose was written down south in Georgia, where Maguire enclosed himself off from the hustle and bustle of the city. With an undertone of blues-rock blended with dissonant explosives, thoughtful restraint and always introspective lyrics, A Hairshirt of Purpose lends itself to thoughtful ears and deserves no less than repeat listenings. In an interview with Consequence of Sound, Rick speculates that he “can’t predict what [he’ll] be writing in three months from now, let alone three years from now”, succeeding in constructing their own path of continuously evolving songwriting and musicianship from one album to the next.
Released on March 31st, you can purchase A Hairshirt of Purpose via Exploding in Sound Records here.
You can also catch Pile live at the following US tour dates along with Gnarwhal:
04/26 Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge
04/27 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
04/28 Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
04/30 San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
05/02 Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
05/03 Seattle, WA @ The Black Lodge
05/05 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Loading Dock
05/06 Denver, CO @ Lost Lake Lounge
05/07 Omaha, NE @ River City Star
05/09 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry
05/10 Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
05/11 Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
05/12 Detroit, MI @ Marble Bar
05/13 Lakewood, OH @ Mahall’s
05/14 Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar
Trish Connelly is the Austin-based guru who does booking and promoting at Cheer Up Charlies under The Nothing Song. She’s always down to collaborate and plan a show or event in town. She’s an expert with mixtapes (for all musicians out there you’ll want to send her your stuff!), and making connections with the cool kids. You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.