It’s a special, experimental and immensely satisfying piece of work.
Right. I’m going to say it. I love this band, I love this album. There – that’s a nice tone set for the rest of the review. Doesn’t that make you feel warm inside? ‘Pile’ (a name that is both lazy and awesome in equal measure) present ‘A Hairshirt of Purpose’ – an album that’s innovative, complex and as unpredictable as the crazy family friend who’s just come out of prison.
‘A Hairshirt of Purpose’ (again, their ability to name things is unparalleled) opens with ‘Worms’, which is about as perfect an introduction to this band’s style as I could imagine. I’m sure there’s a joke in there about opening a can of worms and relating that back to ‘Worms’ opening the album, but I lack the intelligence to try it and, thankfully, I do feel shame.
The album is a unique piece of work – and I must go back to my comment about it being unpredictable to explain why. One minute, it’s slow, relaxed and thoughtful in nature. Then it’s on to a fast paced, aggressive, pulse racing track. Then it goes to sombre. To heavy. To calm. Then to rockier pieces. In short, it never stops being interesting.
The only way to give a short analysis of the album would be to say that it often feels like a jam session where everything is going perfectly. ‘Pile’ seem to go off on many tangents where they change style as easy as it is to change clothes; often in the same song. It’s like they’re driven by a very pure connection to the soul of what they’re trying to say, and they just let it flow through them.
My favourites have to be ‘Rope’s Length’ and ‘Milkshake’. In fact, if you had to represent the album with one song, ‘Rope’s Length’ would be my personal pick. It’s uncertainty of where it’s taking you is as fascinating as it is engaging, and the vocals blend perfectly with the instruments. The title of that track gave me a bit of a sense of dread, truth be told; like when you wake up after blacking out the night before on a few too many vodkas and wonder what the hell you’ve done this time.
The album closes with ‘Fingers’ – notice, I said ‘closes’ and not ‘climaxes’ because I’m a grown up now – and it’s a brilliant reminder of not only how deep the lyrics are in ‘A Hairshirt Of Purpose’, but how enjoyable the album has been to listen to. It is 1000% worth every penny you pay for it. It’s a special, experimental and immensely satisfying piece of work. Watch this space, because if this album is anything to go by, ‘Pile’ will be a name you’ll be hearing a lot more often.