Posted on April 5th, 2019
[as seen on Pitchfork]
Pile’s new song kicks off on a buzz of frustrated chords like a revving engine. Once the drums come in, “The Soft Hands of Stephen Miller” hits fast and mean, a two-minute Molotov cocktail hurled towards the smarmy Trump aide known as the architect of the administration’s hardline immigration policies. On first pass, the Boston post-hardcore band’s frontman Rick Maguire sings with a fury that sounds inchoate: Na na na na na na, he taunts, before turning to a more salient point: “Stephen, tell me about your great-grandmother.” Miller himself, as the public learned last year, is the descendant of refugees who fled anti-Jewish violence in Europe in the early 1900s.
Not until halfway through this brutally short track do Pile bring in the full force of their guitars, as Maguire unleashes a long, glass-shattering howl of rage. “We’re all railing against insignificance, Steve/But you don’t have to be so vile and insufferable about it,” he sneers. And there’s the career of Stephen Miller in a nutshell: not that of an intellectual rebel but of a cruel, craven hanger-on. Pile came for everything short of his hairline.