Fans of Peter Wolf Crier’s 2010 debut, Inter-Be, might be surprised to find what the band has in store for round two. On Garden of Arms, the Minneapolis-based duo finds itself trading in its stripped-down and folky sounds for a sizzling and frenetic mix of organ tones, catchy back beats, and hyper-speed drum work, not to mention a caustic collection of deeply personal songwriting.
Originally started as a solo project for frontman/songwriter Peter Pisano, Peter Wolf Crier quickly grew to include drummer/multi-instrumentalist Brian Moen, who fell into the fold almost by accident during the early recording stages of Inter-Be. Still, Garden of Arms marks the pair’s first album written as a duo, which accounts for a lot of the louder, rougher sonic flourishes that run rampant here. Another contributing factor: touring. The duo logged a few thousand miles — and more than100 shows — in roughly six months last year, which Pisano says really helped him cut his chops.
“It definitely made parts of me as a musician grow a lot faster,” he explained recently via phone from the road. “It was a much more intense maturation process when it came to things like playing guitar, because frankly I hadn’t been playing regularly since I was in high school.”
The road also helped to bring the pair together. “We really didn’t know each other as people before [this],” the singer added.
For Pisano, a self-described seeker of truth through music, the changes seem to be for the better. Garden of Arms is marked by tales of spirituality, growth, and life-affirming moments, all accompanied by a newfound and palpable sense of vocal and instrumental confidence. “I’m just trying to get closer and closer to my nature,” he explains of Garden. “I want [listeners] to feel like they’re not being lied to or tricked. It’s a difficult thing to communicate sincerity, and I want people to know that I mean what I’m saying and that I’m saying it to them.”
Peter Wolf Crier plays Muddy Waters Café (508 E. Haley St.) on Monday, November 7, at 8 p.m. Call 966-9328 or visit clubmercy.com for tickets and info.