Even though all three members of Krill live in Boston, the characters that inhabit their new EP, Steve Hears Pile in Malden and Bursts Into Tears, exist on the outskirts of reality. The five-song “failed concept album” loosely follows the story of an aspiring musician named Steve who tragically realizes he’s a character in a song by real-life Boston noisemakers Pile—a premise that would defenitely intrigue me if I read it on the inside flap of a book jacket. The EP is more or less an extension of the disheveled slacker rock on the band’s recent full-length, Lucky Leaves, a sound that’s powered by tangential, almost math-y guitar riffs and razor-sharp rhythms. Bassist Jonah Furman’s vocals hover between playfully detached and deeply aggravated as he delivers the kind of artless, hyper-specific lyrics that make me wonder if I’m in on the joke. The songs on the EP are seemingly banal conversations between the protagonist Steve and his friend Mouth: they drool over the latest Pile album on the title track, make plans to catch a movie in the “Fresh Pond” neighborhood of Cambridge, and drive around suburban Massachusetts fretting about the “Unbounded Nameless Future.” I like to think that these tracks would appeal most to kids like Steve and Mouth, the claustrophobic townies who daydream about starting a band but their crippling self-doubt keeps them from ever really going for it.
On “Turd,” the narrator visualizes himself as a piece of fecal matter in a toilet bowl that’s perpetually mid-flush. It’s the EP’s most outwardly funny track, but maybe its most tormented, too. If I could just keep a commitment/ Maybe I’d be happier, Furman sings over a couple stray guitar noodles, a pretty soul-baring sentiment for a song about shit. It’s one of several vulnerable moments on the EP that makes the edges between the characters and their creators pretty fuzzy; is it Steve and Mouth that can’t get their act together, or is it Krill? To be honest, whether or not Steve Hears Pile In Malden… succeeds as a coherent narrative is pretty irrelevant. What’s the point of writing songs about fictional deadbeats if you don’t create something deeply personal in the process? The EP will be officially released next Tuesday, February 18th, on Exploding In Sound, and the trio starts a US tour with Ava Luna the very same day.
Stream Krill’s Steve Hears Pile In Malden and Bursts Into Tears EP