Chat Pile - God’s Country
Sep 3, 2022
Every now and then I like to indulge in music lists that contain “disturbing content”. Most of the time they start with mainstream appeal with slight mentions of dark tones and ideas, then they progress to underground artists with uncomfortable writing or background stories. The lyrics in those albums contain themes of suicide, violence, and a deep hatred view on society, things like this are expected. I view these lists just to see what exists out there in the infinite realm of albums, it’s always interesting reading about an artist who talks about some highly messed up topics, sure I won’t really listen to the music but that’s not the point. Sometimes when roaming I see the phrases “edgy” and “shock value” thrown around, usually when I see these words being used to describe an album I feel like it’s lost its appeal. Usually, the most entertaining disturbing cuts are from those who are naturally fucked up, things like Silencer's “Death - Pierce Me” work for many people because of how real it sounds. There is a certain “raw” factor that people are addicted to when it comes to this type of music, especially in the metal scene. I’m nearly just an observer when it comes to metal, I’m not aware of the biggest releases, stories, and artists. However, I love the sound and I sometimes crave the sound of people trying to tackle a difficult topic through raw emotion and lyricism. Digging through the RYM 2022 charts I saw “God’s Country” by Chat Pile, a Noise Rock, Sludge Metal album that is praised for its extremely emotionally charged lyrics and hellish vocals that punch the listener hard. With descriptions like that, I’d be stupid not to give it a listen, it seemed like something I had been looking for.

Upon first listening to God’s Country, I started to realize something very quickly, this isn’t working for me. Why isn’t this working for me, the vocalist has so much psychotic rage in his lyrics, the instrumentals are heavy and it’s exactly what people described it as, this should be perfect. As I continued to listen I started to the problems, it had everything I wanted, but everything felt off. The issues became clear once I listened to the track “Why”, this wasn’t raw. I see tons of acknowledgment for how the vocalist is putting tons of emotion into the lyrics, but that’s certainly not what it felt like for me. The whole track sounds forced, it’s like being in an improv class and the actor was given the role to portray a man who is “fed up”. The lyrics are written not only childishly, with the repeated “why’s” and dumb questions, but also the performance is sloppy. How is it that I’m listening to a person screaming their lungs out in rage and feeling absolutely nothing? It’s because the tracks are written like twitter quote responses to a verified Republican take. The only real emotion I’m getting from this track is “whininess” not anger. It sounds so confused, like literally “why I don’t understand, tell me why, why, why?” it’s incredibly annoying and sounds like a baby throwing a tantrum. The vocals are supposed to sound super drugged out like the guy just did heroin and decided to sing, or he just drank three bottles of whisky, but it sounds so fake. “Pamela” sounds horrible, I truly couldn’t stand how poorly it was executed, imagine a kid trying to look cool by pretending sipping alcohol at a party and acting drunk. When it’s not Erin Yeager yapping about random topics, it’s the vocalist inserting unnecessary edgy lyrics as if he has a checklist of things to include.

Without a lick of personality or self-awareness, the lyrics lose their purpose for me. Make sure to include schizophrenic tones in there to really let the listener know that this is truly messed up, “Anywhere” is guilty of this. The worst offender is “I Don’t Care If I Burn” which contains a minimal instrumental, mainly just background noise, but the real problem is the teenage angst performance. There is so much wrong here, the random screaming in the middle of a track with no built-up or reason, the repeating lyrics like “just looking for some peace”, the heavy breathing that is supposed to make the listener uncomfortable but doesn’t work because the vocalist sounds like Robbie from Gravity Falls. Things like this make me feel like I’m listening to someone who wanted to make something crazy, something that would make people go “Oh god, this should have a disclaimer or something.” The Spotify canvas certainly doesn’t help the case either with them containing cringe videos like Jesus controlling a puppet made to look like the devil, or just things like a big cross just sitting there. Unsurprisingly this actually worked because many critics cite God’s Country as “not for the faint of heart”, “Terrifying”, and “full of frustration and despair” things like this are what make the album sound attractive. Just look how wild we are, we aren’t like any other group out there, the entire experience is artificial to me. When reading other people’s experiences I came to understand that some people just simply enjoy the things that I wrote as being done poorly. Some people really do like the lyrics on “Why”, and some people really like the vocals and delivery, but for me, it doesn’t.

Believe it or not, there are some things I did enjoy, the production for the most part is enjoyable. Tracks like “Tropical Beaches, Inc.” have such a captivating noise, it takes your attention and controls it. While writing I sometimes would get lost because of how crushing it is. Not only that but some of the concepts are actually pretty interesting, I would love to hear a group try to tackle these ideas in a better way. I also agree with the majority of the messages given, though that doesn’t affect the score. The final track deserves some credit for being creative for the most part and out of all tracks it’s the most disturbing and rememberable one, most likely because it is the longest and had the proper time to make me feel that way. So it’s not filth, even if it’s trying to be, there are redeeming moments for sure but those only led to more disappointment on my end.

a really accurate analysis, amazing!!
although i personally love the record, your complaints are completely valid and the review is very well written
the album itself actually took me a few listens, because at first i also thought it was really edgy and uninteresting, but ig its just not for everyone :]
great review either way!
yeah, this album dont get enough hate
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