Peter Cries Again

semi-local duo releases sophomore album

Trevor Kupfer

Peter Wolf Crier’s Peter Pisano and Brian Moen have released Garden of Arms, their second album, through Jagjaguwar.
 
Peter Wolf Crier’s Peter Pisano and
Brian Moen have released Garden
of Arms, their second album, through
Jagjaguwar.
If you buy the dozen or so reviews of Peter Wolf Crier’s sophomore album, then the duo has streamlined their sound to be more produced and thoughtful. And that’s what you get when you spend more than one day on material.

PWC is a Minneapolis duo comprised of Peter Pisano’s guitar/vocals (Wars of 1812) and Brian Moen’s drums/engineering (Laarks, Amateur Love, Echo Bravo, Shouting Matches, et al), and now they’re joined by Kyle Flater (Laarks) on keys and guitar. On Sept. 6 Jagjaguwar released Garden of Arms to mostly positive, but mixed reviews.

Positive ones in places like Paste, AV Club, and The Current say the band has shed what traces of a folk sound they had in favor of layered arrangements a la TV on the Radio. They have kept the Nick Drake-esque writing and high haunting vocals, often feeling jagged and melancholic like Radiohead’s Amnesiac, but now have a sound so complicated it demands repeat listens.

Mediocre and negative reviews like those on Pitchfork and No Rip Cord credit the album as having too much vocal reverb and “the worst parts and the signature parts of Animal Collective.” The blog Bow Legs summarize it quite well as, “the production and general feel to the album are big. It gives the impression of masquerading a full sound-system as a battered Walkman. … They’re walking that fine line between pleasing the alternative crowd and falling into the Coldplay chasm of unbridled success and universal hatred.”

Check out the album and decide which side of the fence you land on, either by visiting PeterWolfCrier.com, Jagjaguwar, or buying a copy at The Local Store. Their tour kicks off Sept. 23 at Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis.

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