As the name would promise, “Poisons,” the new single from Pile, is not subtle. With a drum kick that allows itself room to echo, the band assembles slowly but intriguingly, like an awkward machine bent on disaster. But it’s clear from the lyrics that, doom-filled as they sound, the band is in fact bent on change for the better. This song is just the alarm bell.
The structure of the song begins untraditionally fascinating and stays that way— the band never locks into a solid groove, but you find yourself headbanging anyways. Kris Kuss’s drums keep everything in place, providing the heavy leaning springboard for Rick Maguire’s vocals to push off. And push off they do—Maguire treats the words as toys to be played with, or perhaps dangerous objects to cough out as fast as possible. Either way, you get an impression of deep uncertainty, even as his voice stays deeply grounded. “It’s about trying to abstain from participating in things that aren’t really good for anybody but also feeling very unaware in general, and the frustration of trying to hold both of those sentiments,” Maguire comments. “Now heaven’s a place where no one else is,” he sings, but soon takes to screaming it, driving his point home. With the emphasis on the climate crisis, it places us squarely in front of the question: Is heaven a place so untouched by humans that we could never hope to exist there? If so, where do we go from here?
You can watch the video for the new single down below. This is the second single from their forthcoming album All Fiction, out Feb. 17 via Exploding In Sound.