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Chat Pile - God’s Country

"One can empathize with what he genuinly brings across in his words, tone and volume. You can hear and feel his pure emotions when he ventilates his lyrics (autobiographical or not) through his spoken-word singing, howls, screams or grunts"

Originating from early 2019 Chat Pile is an Oklahoma, US based noise-rock/sludge band. They released two EP's (This Dungeon Earth and Remove Your Skin Please) in 2019, but I only got acquainted through their split with Portrayal Of Guilt last year.

From that moment on I had my eyes on them because with their style of music, you raise an eyebrow, or two at first, and soon after you find yourself nodding your head and digging their intensity, and finally, before you know it, you are hooked and addicted to hear more. So, I was eagerly waiting for their debut album to arrive and as I expected, the first single that saw the light of day only confirmed that my impatience was for a good reason.

God’s Country got released through the interesting San Francisco based label The Flenser ( Midwife, Mamaleek, King Woman) and the first reactions are purely positive. Music-wise the songs breath a typical underground DIY vibe with no compromises. As Bill Hicks once beautifuly stated: “Play from your fucking heart!” well that’s what these guys do. The bass is fat and low-tuned, the drums sound Godfleshish-like, heavily industrial and the guitar is filthy and omnious. One moment the music is transparant and building, the other moment it's erupting and exploding like an unexpected right-hook to the jaw. On top of all those sounds are the charismatic vocals of Raygun Busch (real name Randy Heyer). Quite an interesting approach vocally I have to say. In his maniacal rants, on the verge of psychiatry, he reminds me of Alexis Marschall from Daughters.

As a teacher in social work I train students in the importance of empathizing with other human beings in order to get into and understand their living world. As a social worker you have to find a certain balance in feeling with and for the other, but not get too emotional attached with someone else’s problems either, otherwise they become your burden keeping you awake every night feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders and with the images of other peoples traumatic experiences haunting you. As a vocalist in Chat Pile, now that’s a whole different story of course! Here, it seems to be impossible NOT to over-empathize, and perhaps it’s the only way to fully express? Busch seems to be able to totally immerse himself in the immense and ever growing shit pile American society (and the whole world that is) brings forth. One can empathize with what he genuinly brings across in his words, tone and volume. You can hear and feel his pure emotions when he ventilates his lyrics (autobiographical or not) through his spoken-word singing, howls, screams or grunts. You can feel his pain and utter sadness when he screams about what animals are going through in Slaughterhouses. Right there and then he’s not just singing about an animal, he IS that animal, feeling it’s pain and sadness. You can feel the complete hopelessness, powerlessness and rage he feels for the suffering of his fellow human beings who have to live and die outside, while we have the means and resources to do it differently.

In I Don’t Care If I Burn (which is more like a radio play with spoken word and sound effects) and album closer grimacesmokingweed.jpeg you start to believe Rusch is truly fighting to keep in touch with reality and not slip into a delusional murderous or suicidal psychosis. Just listen to those primal, gut-spilling and soul-tearing screams that end this album. If these don’t get under your skin just a little bit, then you’re a cold-hearted and soulless weirdo. And if you were dreaming about becoming a social worker, here’s some advice: please don’t!.

The entire album is like this. Each song is soaked with Rusch’s vulnerability, balancing delicately on the edge of insanity, psychosis and (self) murder. “You were not supposed to see this, but here it is!” And it’s exactly this that gives this album and band that extra dimension. Fucking brilliant. Yearlist material.