Chat Pile: “grimace_smoking_weed.jpeg” Track Review

Oklahoma City heavy music oddballs Chat Pile made the meme-friendly decision to close their excellent debut God’s Country with a nine-minute song called “grimace_smoking_weed.jpeg.” It is an amazing song title, and the official merch is as obvious as it is undeniable. What the noise outfit manages to do on the sludge-metal odyssey is pretty incredible: Ronald McDonald’s blazed pal is not a mere punchline, but a specter of imminent self-destruction.

The band’s vocalist Raygun Busch is palpably distressed as he speaks to the initially nameless “purple man” smoking weed in his bedroom. The band’s massive industrial chug and wall of feedback amplifies his agitation, and soon, his irritated murmur becomes a full-on shriek. His thoughts turn obsessively to self-harm, his plans becoming chillingly specific before he finally screams the name of his tormenter: “GRIMACE.” When did the plush, mitten-fingered dude from McDonaldland become so demonic? The song’s final moments are harrowing: After outlining a plan to plunge himself into oblivion, Busch follows with sustained screams. It’s a devastating song for such a ridiculous title, like if Carrie & Lowell concluded with a song called “garfield_divorce_papers.pdf.”

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