Pile started out as the vision of Rick Maguire and over fifteen years later he’s still honing his craft and tightening his scope. Longtime drummer Kris Kuss has a relatively new rhythm section partner in Alex Molini (also in Stove), who has also helped out with the last two Pile studio recordings. Grafting bits of the classic 90s noise rock moves from bands on the Amphetamine Reptile and Touch and Go labels, the last record swerves a bit over the solid line with the addition of keyboards. Both Maguire and Molini played a fair amount of them on the new material which has confounded a few longtime listeners. In the live setting it worked fine, and there are still strong traces of bands like Mogwai, Codeine and even the Dirty Three present, especially with Maguire’s guitar playing. The crowd responded with some good-natured moshing as the set winded down, and the band was appreciative of being able to sleep in their own beds before kicking off the tour in earnest.
Mal Devisa took support duties, standing tall and alone in the middle of the stage with just her bass and a kick drum borrowed from Kuss. Part hip-hop, part jazz, part gospel, she played doublets on her bass and told tales of getting high and giving a white girl some corn rows (“I’m Bad Brains/You’re Sonic Youth”).
Photos of both bands
Primarily based in Boston, Massachusetts, Tim Bugbee is no stranger to traveling throughout the country or overseas to capture the best live music photos.