Pile – ‘You’re Better Than This’

Review by Steve Marck (outoforder.ca)

Properly naming your motive for expression is nigh impossible now. It wasn’t always that way, given the blind ideologies that guided the weighty choices one inevitably makes during creative processes. Not having a balanced sense of humours could be an easy excuse for any action. A hundred years ago I could have blamed my lucid despondency on an extra fistful of black bile nestled somewhere near my spleen. Once, the collapse in communications between you and everyone you know could be traced to faulty phlegm retention, easily corrected by drilling a hole in your skull. So, now, where does that leave Pile? What would drive a bunch of people to Omaha to invest hours hammering skins and steel, screaming disappointments to the ends of expression? You’re Better Than This extols all its ire in controlled blasts without neglecting the beauty in unconventional progression. It’s often ugly, collapsing heaps of emotional reverie in waves on top of one another, but this doesn’t designate a shortcoming. There is virtue in the aim to feel everything, even if just once. The World is Your Motel opens the album with a flurry and every song remains as fervent. Even the acoustic guitar in Fuck the Police keeps the flitting finger picking at a break-neck clip. It’s closing track Appendicitis swells itself tidally between pride and burden pressed to record, starting unwholesomely (“There were times when I wanted it so bad that I made it hurt, and now I wait as patiently as I can for my heart to ache again.”), it ends with a stilted, blistering wreck. Why? What afflictions from a medical dictionary can impose on the spectrum of human nature that Pile possess? Hear their songs for what they might be to you and no one else.  Don’t try to give it a name. Please don’t bookend it with genres and banded comparisons. While Pile know You’re Better Than This therein— before you begin to listen—make sure you have a sense of humour.