[sic] Magazine

Peter Wolf Crier – Inter-Be

Not many of us subscribe to the chastity club these days, so it is with little surprise we learn of Peter Pisano and drummer Brian Moen ‘s previous incarnations. Wars of 1812 and Minneapolis scene mainstay respectively, the duo now ply their trade under the name of Peter Wolf Crier , and their debut, Inter-Be, is full of fuzzy, familiar country-blues arrangements and sensitive, strum-along mid-western folk.

Lead sample “Crutch & Cane” opens proceedings, allowing Pisano’s dusty soprano to bob jauntily atop relaxed, but infectious, melodies. The harmonised vocals of “Hard As Nails” lend Inter-Be wisps and cracks of Justin Vernon -like appeal, but overall seem to lack his devastating shades of emotion. Nevertheless, deft piano flourishes support Pisano’s identifiable tales of heartbreak effortlessly, and Moen furthermore fills out the confident catalogue with his mixed tempo percussion.

This is quickly evident as it is reduced dramatically, and aptly, for “Down Down Down” and it ushers in a rolling, chilly track as a result, which Moen drags towards a dirge with his pronounced and funereal drumming. This variety is welcome because while Inter-Be will inevitably have reserved adjectives such as earnest, honest and timeless thrown at it, Moen’s drumming is the weapon that often raises Inter-Be beyond these otherwise deserved descriptions.

Yet, outside of the opening trinity of tracks, and with the later exception of the accomplished “Lion”, Inter-Be often veers toward solid, but unadventurous singer-songwriting ground. As a result, it’s not as fanciful as Peter Wolf Crier’s Prokofiev – meets – Aesop punning name purports to be, but they have depths that are not obvious from initial spins. Prokofiev’s wolf is announced with peels of rousing French horn, and when allowed to shine, Moen provides equal percussive highlights to carry Peter Wolf Crier the band toward Pisano’s misty-eyed vision.

The subject of a song is rarely its success; it’s the individual execution that counts. So, it matters little that the theme of love and loss is well worn – the most comfortable things are – it is that Pisano chooses to cry – at length – about his loses that matters most. As exemplified by the simpering “Demo 01”, and as another boy who cried will testify, little good ultimately comes of that.

Advised downloads : “Crutch & Cane” and “Lion”.

Inter-Be is released on Jagjaguwar May 25th in the US, and June 7th in the UK.