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Palehound, Pile, Trophy Dad (free)

  • Memorial Union Rathskeller 800 Langdon Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)


Boston's Pile play a strain of rock that sits loosely within the realm of post-punk, while centering much of their sound around strong songwriting. On their 2017 release A Hairshirt of Purpose, Pile maneuver through periods of intensity marked by abrasive guitar tones and brutal drum lines, and stages of stretched-out, humid haze. The track "Rope's Length" begins with a long snare roll, viola tremolos, and dual guitar lines operating in odd time. One might expect this cinematic rev-up to ascend climatically. But instead the band opens up, allowing a considerable amount of space that only pushes the energy into the chorus. Palehound's Ellen Kempner's vocal style sounds somewhere between conversation and singing to herself. It isn't an outward power in her voice that commands you, but the feeling that what you're hearing is just the tip of the iceberg––that the emotion is pent up, working itself out internally. Kempner is unrelenting, though. Her candid lyricism has an edge that juts out between the summery sensibilities of her three piece, especially on Palehound's latest album, A Place I'll Always Go. Madison pop outfit Trophy Dad play here as well behind their 2017 EP Dogman. —Emili Earhart

Earlier Event: September 29
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Later Event: September 30
Something Wild (free)