Pile have never released the same album twice, since the project’s 2007 beginnings the Boston quartet have been continuously evolving, pushing expectations, and obliterating good sensibility. A Hairshirt of Purpose, the band’s fifth album continues thattradition in a different light. Following the raw intensity and unpredictability of You’re Better Than This, the band settled down to create an album about “the joys of solitude” and “the inescapable selfishness of every action,” exploring the limits of thestudio in theprocess. If their last album was a challenge to their audience, A Hairshirt of Purposeis a challenge to the band itself.
Recorded at home in Boston at The Record Co. the studio's big windows and close proximity marked a change from the band’s previous recordings. Pile vocalist/guitarist Rick Maguire shared, “we were at home and we could see the sun, and I think both of those things lent themselves to a more focused and deliberate record.” There’s a warmth and radiant accessibility to be found throughout the album as the band experimented with different instruments (violin, viola, piano, organs, synths, banjo, etc) and aresounding push toward clarity. Pile balance their ferocious tendencies with moments of beauty, building tension with release never too far behind.
Well known as “your favorite band’s favorite band” and for a tireless work ethic, Pile have earned their following from years of DIY touring and a humble approach to uncompromising performances. Never afraid to switch styles, Pile’s music has morphed overthe years, embracing both the ferocious and gentle sides of punk, indie, folk, and noise rock, delivering their own brand of gnarled intensity. Since coming together as a full band in 2009, Pile have toured as much as their lives collectively allow, playing over 600shows spread out over the US, Canada, UK and Europe.
"There are two possible scenarios behind the sound of these Nashville natives: Either they are demonic prodigies who were doing angular guitar solos as soon as they plopped out of the womb; or they spent their entire youth cloistered away finger-tapping and studying off-beat syncopation, while all their friends were out having fun." -mixedvegetablez music blog
"With rhythmic, palm-muted power-chord chugs laying the foundation for spasms of lead arpeggios, Gnarwhal is definitely a guitar player's band. Complementing the dual guitars perfectly, the seismic drum beats and the excitable vocals are icing on the cake."
-Johnny Gabbert, KDHX Media
"If breakneck guitar riffs, caffeinated tempos, nonlinear song structures, and howling vocals aren't your cup of tea, Gnarwhal might send you running for the hills, or it might expand your musical landscape." (KDHX Radio, St. Louis.)
“A gleefully chaotic mess that will appease fans of weird and difficult music. Those looking to get annoyed in the best way possible will have to look no further.”
-Lane Oliver (Svbterranean)
“Experimental in a way that works, hitting the right mixture of abrasive with playful…full of calamity, verve, and discordance.”
-Jasmine Bourgeois (Post-Trash)
“In spite of its name, Prissy Whip is a band with balls and razor-like edges whose metal-heavy blend of high-decibel, polyrhythmic noise and Shayne's playfully nihilistic lyrics (not to mention her fierce stage energy) is a tonic for the L.A.-enervated soul.” -Bill Raden (Stage Raw, LA Weekly)