Peter Wolf Crier: Inter-Be

Peter Wolf Crier: Inter-Be

B+

Peter Wolf Crier

Album: Inter-Be
Label: Jagjaguwar

Slow, painstaking craftsmanship can make great music, but when inspiration strikes like a freight train out of the night, it’s best to just jump on and let the thing get where it’s going at its own breakneck speed. That approach worked well for Peter Pisano of Minneapolis’ Peter Wolf Crier, who pounded out the core of his duo’s debut, Inter-Be, in a single night after months of stagnation in the wake of the breakup of his previous band, The Wars Of 1812. The songs’ rough framework was fleshed out considerably later, especially when drummer and recording engineer Brian Moen came on board to help shape Pisano’s nascent folk-rock into something more sweepingly gorgeous and layered. To their credit, though, the embellishments respected the raw, lo-fi energy that powered the music in the first place, enhancing it instead of smoothing away its personality. The approach is superficially apparent in song titles like “Untitled 101” and “Demo 01,” but it weaves through the whole album on a more fundamental level via Moen’s rollicking percussion and Pisano’s melancholy, high-pitched vocals. There’s a touch of Bon Iver’s sad, haunted-sounding balladry in the mix here—not surprising, since Moen and Pisano have both worked with Justin Vernon—but also a refreshing exuberance, particularly on the bouncy album-opener “Crutch & Cane” and the angelic crescendo of voices that closes the terrific “Hard As Nails.”