Peter Wolf Crier’s “Inter-Be”

“Peter Wolf Crier’s Inter-Be is one of those albums that would fit perfectly in the background while doing homework, but would also be an asset to the foreground if you were looking to cleanse yourself of stress.” -Victoria Phetmisy

Victoria Phetmisy

8
out of 10

Peter Wolf Crier
Inter-Be
May 25, 2010
Jagjaguwar

Peter Wolf Crier’s Inter-Be came to me at a really good time. Just moments before I started listening to the album I had been outside playing with the neighbourhood cat, Jax, of whom I’m quite allergic. Against my better judgment (and while my boyfriend repeatedly told me that I would instantly regret my actions) I let him rub his adorable face all over my hands and legs.

Within two minutes of walking into the house and up to my bedroom both my arms and legs began itching. I scratched once. Then twice. Then three times—and before I knew it the entirety of my arms and legs felt like they had been set on fire. It was painful. I don’t know if you know anyone who is, like, insanely allergic to cats, but my arms and legs were turning as red as boiled lobsters. Oh—and don’t even get me started on the bumps surfacing on the skin. I almost cried.

I sat on the bed while my boyfriend rubbed some Cortizone on my body and fed me Benadryl. Afterward he left to go finish his finals and I put my headphones on and began listening to Inter-Be.

Maybe the Benadryl started kicking in, but when the first track, “Crutch & Crane,” came on with its relaxed sounds I was instantly chilled out. The incident with the cat was instantly forgotten and the incessantly annoying itching seemed to have subsided and the redness died down.

I sunk into the song and it reminded me of home and of living in the Midwest with nothing better to do but enjoy the trees in my backyard. It’s no surprise, I guess, since the duo is from Minneapolis. The song is just happy and really cute. It definitely sets the mood for the rest of the album making you feel homey, nostalgic, and taken care of.

The track starts out with a faint shuffling of drumsticks, a soft guitar and a simple drumbeat. Within ten seconds, the vocals kick in with Peter Pisano, formerly of Wars of 1812, singing, “Somewhere I hear someone they call for you/ Mama is cooking up a plate for two/ Where’s my home? Somewhere safe.”

It reminded me a bit of a relaxed Sufjan Stevens meets Great Lakes Swimmers with a dash of Wolf Parade. I definitely wanted to keep listening, but I was getting drowsy from the drugs. So I thought to myself—one more song and I’ll turn in.

The rest of the songs did not disappoint. Needless to say, I definitely tried to brave through the effects of the Benadryl after each track. Second track, “Hard as Nails,” takes you through a darker part of the woods, but you’re still slightly smiling. The repetitive percussive elements are always in the background as the deeper, airy vocals, with their elusive lyrics, keep you paying attention.

Third track, “Down Down Down,” starts of quite bare with only a guitar and the lyrics, “I’m going down, down, down for you” over top of it. It’s soft and very pretty. Pisano is definitely no amateur songwriter because he delivers some catchy hooks in every track. The song also picks up slightly and you get to hear the great canvas painted with Brian Moen’s percussive genius, bringing in the beats and the colourful soundscape of soft pings.  They drop off like a valley into a slower, heavier vocal dive in the song, until you get to the climax, and it seems as though we’re seeing the sun slowly send burst of rays through the clouds graying the sky. It’s very melodic and stays true to that feeling of home, of nostalgia, of somewhere you’ve definitely been before.

The rest of the album takes this dirt road through the woods and Pisano and Moen definitely hold your hand all the way through. There’s no place to trail off, but there’s no trail either.

For their debut album, I think they’re definitely heading on the right track. A lot of the songs may sound a bit similar upon first listen, but that’s only because they tend to bleed into each other quite flawlessly. The added surprises in each song, the xylophone-like sounds in the backgrounds, and the simple lyrics give the album its feeling of familiarity.

I eventually did go to bed and returned to the album the next day to give it a listen post-allergic reaction and post-Benadryl. It still made me feelquite calm and reminded me of home. Peter Wolf Crier’s Inter-Be is one of those albums that would fit perfectly in the background while doing homework, but would also be an asset to the foreground if you were looking to cleanse yourself of stress.