[sic] Magazine

Peter Wolf Crier – Garden Of Arms

To those that paid attention, Justin Vernon ‘s switch from broken folk to soft rock was no surprise. Despite having occasionally intersected in terms of sound and geography, it’s been more difficult however to keep tabs on the lower profile Peter Wolf Crier . All the same, the mid-western duo’s new direction is more than worth a double take.

Since their solid debut Inter-Be , and save for the odd harmony and acoustic pick-up (see those in the hazy “Cut A Hand”), Garden Of Arms greatly lessens the pair’s reliance on familiar country-blues arrangements and strum-along folk. Interestingly, in its place we find glitchy pop sequences.

Hitting like the bespectacled Hot Chip boys tackling latter-day Radiohead , “Beach” is warm pop-tronica with ambition. Bringing down the curtain impressively, the tender “Wheel”, glitch and all, nudges atmospherically towards the current trend of ravished R&B.

Further breaking the mould, “Krishnamurti” houses a single-minded groove akin to QOTSA on a diet of sunnier drugs and 60s kickbacks. On the other hand, and perhaps obviously, “Haunt You” is tackled at a more macabre pace, underpinning its ominous keys with dark drum skitters.

Lolloping hypnotically, “Right Away” is the type of dignified pop where just enough is spot on. Happily, then, such moments are tempered skilfully by ones such as the harmonised surge in “Setting It Off”, acting as a powerful undertow during the track’s outro.

With all this in mind, Peter Pisano and Brian Moen have made commendable steps towards self-sufficiency with Garden Of Arms . A touch more intensity and these songs could well sing.

Advised downloads: “Right Away” and “Krishnamurti”.

~Garden Of Arms is released 5th September 2011 on Jagjaguwar .~

[sic] review – Inter-Be

Peter Wolf Crier @ myspace