Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Brett Allen at Mr. & Mrs. T and Rachael Ray's Feedback Festival
It was a situation of all being in this together, this particular Saturday morning, in the middle of last month. Peter Pisano and Brian Moen of the Minneapolis band Peter Wolf Crier had arrived early for a 10:30 a.m. opening slot for the Mr. & Mrs. T and Rachael Ray Feedback Festival that we were asked to help curate and be a part of and the rains were still fucking up the whole morning. Dirty water was gushing along the curbs and sidewalks, washing away the free beer-induced puke from SXSW patrons of the night before. Everyone was watching where they stepped and the mug of coffee that Pisano was nursing and protective of was important for sanity. The margaritas and Bloody Marys, oddly enough were already being mixed at the bar next to the restaurant portion of Stubbs BBQ, where we were setting up our "stage" for the day. We all walked into the room together, all confused together, looking at the piles of heavy wooden tables and chairs that didn't belong. A little while later, Rachael Ray strolled through the restaurant to a side room, where she filmed a short segment for her television program, while sitting at a round table filled with three or four piping hot Mexican dishes that she'd prepared for party-goers that afternoon. She didn't stick around much longer than that and we took over from that point - the skeleton crew of Daytrotter grunts, along with the talent (Pisano and Moen, along with the band's manager, Paul Gillis) - clearing out the room so that we could tape our first-ever Daytrotter sessions before an exclusive live audience. We fell an hour and a half behind schedule - victims to missing rental gear and various other ailments that left us without a working PA system (improvised using spare guitar amps) and improper power cords and strips. We made due and when Peter Wolf Crier finally started knocking out "Hard As Nails," the second song from its upcoming debut album, "Inter-Be," one would have not known the travails of three hours earlier and all was right.
Pisano and Moen, as a duo, are powerful and direct. They play off of each other without eye contact - with Pisano singing himself red and veiny and Moen unleashing imaginative and dynamic percussion - creating a less experimental and quirky, but equally as thrilling sound as do Meric Long and Logan Kroeber of Dodos. It's a sound that pulsates with anxiety and immediacy and everything that throws Pisano into the sort of state that turns him red and sweating - as if you can almost see him swiveling and shifting, rocking and bucking, stomping his feet to the ground as he doesn't even attempt to sit still as he plays. You can hear it. It's an active sounding bit of folk rock and roll that has more spirit than it knows that to do with. "Crutch & Cane," is as strong of a song as you'll hear all year, thumping and chirping with lively vigor and touch. It's everything that makes you get up and dance. It's everything that instinctively throws a smile onto your face and you move. You move along with Pisano and Moen and you ask for it to last and last and last.
Peter Wolf Crier Official Site