Pile haven’t sounded this pissed off in a long time. The Boston-based post-hardcore band has a wide range, their 2017 album A Hairshirt of Purpose opened up their sound to reveal both more density and nuance. But there’s a seething beast still underneath those intricate arrangements. “The Soft Hands of Stephen Miller” is two minutes of snide, screeching, brutal post-hardcore that reminds us how ferocious frontman Rick Maguire can be without filters. The Stephen Miller of the song is, indeed, the Senior Advisor to President Trump, as depicted in the punk-as-fuck video juxtaposing his press conferences against Maguire’s screaming and shots of immigrants and refugees—Miller being the architect behind many of the Trump administration’s cruelest and most racist immigration policies. Maguire takes the cathartic route of belittling Miller as a kind of loser who can’t shake the generations of “Our boy Stephen, that inferiority complex passed down generations.” And the song only grows louder, more abrasive, more explosive. If you’re gonna speak truth to power, might as well make it a ripper.
From Green and Grey, out May 3 via Exploding In Sound
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.