Hamilton, New Jersey emo outfit Puppy Pile put out their debut single, Wrecked, earlier this month. While they don’t have much recorded material yet the band has been playing shows together since the beginning of the year and had been making a name for themselves in other bands in the NJ DIY scene. Wrecked is as emo as the title might lead you to imagine. Lead singer Henry Miles’ voice reaches for a grated yelp that feels inspired by Prince Daddy and the Hyena’s Kory Gregory, though the rest of the band helps make things pleasant enough with solid gang vocals and back up singing when appropriate. Henry’s voice doesn’t come off nearly as ran through gravel as Prince Daddy’s though, and just sounds like he’s really really going for it rather than sounding like he’s causing himself physical harm. In fact I wouldn’t say that Puppy Pile sonically really reminds me of Prince Daddy. If I had to compare them to any band it’d probably be Ditz, their big brothers in the Jersey scene whose banger Crudweiser is the song that reminds me most of Wrecked. While Henry clearly seems as wrecked in his lyrics as the title suggests, the bright guitar chords and high tempo keep things level. Wrecked is a great introduction to a promising emo band. Every member of the group holds their own and you get the feeling the only thing they’d need for another single is for someone new to break one of their hearts.
At first I wasn’t sure about Puppy Pile, strictly off a non-positive initial reaction to their name. However, I quickly came around on it after I realized that many of the best emo bands ever have goofy names, and the alliteration in Puppy Pile does make this one fun to say. Plus, it’s an adorable image when you actually sit and think about the name, being in a pile of puppies seems like a much more pleasant experience than the plethora of dog piles I was involved in growing up with four brothers. The band also avoided the temptation of being cheeky and naming themselves Puppy Style which undoubtedly would have been a step too far. Anyway, Wrecked is the first single off of an EP the band plans on releasing in the next few months. Next up will be another single titled Safety Town Dance Party which the band wants to drop in the upcoming weeks. While bassist Patrick Gillooly tells me it has a completely different vibe than Wrecked I hope it’s not too different, cuz I am definitely digging the vibe they have us on right now.