Chat Pile - God’s Country
Aug 1, 2022 (updated Aug 1, 2022)

Joker has some questions regarding the unhoused...

Post-hardcore, sludge metal, and noise rock are among my favorite genres ever, so needless to say Chat Pile has very much been on my radar since 2019. A split with Portrayal of Guilt and a record deal with Flenser later and Chat Pile had sealed themselves as poised to be one of the best noise rock projects of the decade.

If I had to crudely describe this record in one equation, it'd be:

Jesus Lizard + Godflesh + Joker politics + a tinge of goth = God's Country

I don't know about you but that sounds like a pretty damn incredible combination to me. Their captivating combo of influences ranging from Slint to Korn was made very apparent in their first two EPs, but now they've stepped up the production and versatility in a full-length 40-minute package. Add in a mind-blowing opening track reminiscent of their opus Dallas Beltway and a 9-minute sludgefest closer and you've got yourself an undeniably tight noise rock record.

Regardless, this record isn't the noise rock masterpiece many of us were hoping it'd be. While Chat Pile has clearly mastered the EP format, they stumble a little bit when given the stage for a 40-minute runtime-- sometimes these good-but-not-incredible riffs and good-but-not-totally-convincing lyrics feel a tad run of the mill for a noise rock record in 2022. It's just really hard to keep a full-length record captivating for its entire runtime with vocals that are completely dependent on theatrical insanity and lacking any gripping hooks or melodies. The vocal delivery is totally fine in an EP format, and it also works out great when the instrumentation is at its very best, but hearing a dude have the same mental breakdown 9 times in a row over sludgy riffs doesn't always do it for me if it isn't also bringing something really fresh to the table.

All in all, Chat Pile clearly demonstrates they are both incredibly talented and creative. This record flexes some of their very best songs and is way ahead of most noise rock coming out today. I am confident they someday will release a masterpiece since the talent is clearly there, but in the meantime I will enjoy the fantastic music they have already provided in their previous EPs and God's Country.

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