Question of the day: Why did it take me two full listens before I could say without a doubt that I enjoyed Peter Wolf Crier‘s “Inter-Be”?  Follow up: Why did it take me two and half listens before I learned that I not just enjoyed it, but I flat out love it?

The answer isn’t easy.  Few submissions get more than about fifteen minutes to convince me to listen straight through, and of those, about half actually get a write up.  I was willing to give Peter Wolf Crier two second chances because they are on Jagjaguwar, one of my all-time favorite labels, and because although the songs seemed familiar on first listen, there was still something different about them.  I thought at first that they were just slightly off.  But I couldn’t bring myself to hit “skip track.”

Inter-Be is the Peter Wolf Crier’s debut, which is actually the project of Minneapolis-based duo of Peter Pisano and Brian Moen. It’s a bluesy, mostly acoustic collection of songs that sound so raw that they almost seem unfinished.  It’s their lo-fi nature that makes the band a little hard to hear at first.  Take “Down Down Down” for example: The guitar is out of sync with the percussion, and the vocals are harmonized, taking their cue from a heavy thumping in the background and seemingly ignorant of the guitar.  The song pushes forward, like Jesus dragging his cross, or a father coming home from work on Friday.  It’s exausted, masculine, hard, yet full of love and vulnerability.

Run, don’t walk, to get this record.

Hard as Nails

Crutch and Cane