Music » Critics' Picks

Peter Wolf Crier

9 p.m. Tuesday, February 1. The Billiken Club, 20 North Grand Boulevard in the Busch Student Center at Saint Louis University.

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Peter Wolf Crier isn't obsessed with precisely capturing the past — even though singer Peter Pisano named an early project Wars of 1812 and despite the fact that its debut album, Inter-Be, is full of lo-fi Americana. For these Midwesterners, history is a collection of archaic-sounding audio gear: calliope-recalling keys, rusty guitar pickups and parlor piano. It's also a way of inverting syntax to give lyrics full of love and lust an unsettling edge and a machine for pumping out atmosphere, à la M. Ward's Post-War or Lanois and Dylan's Time Out of Mind. The duo forges its doo-wop harmonies, scrappy acoustic-guitar rhythms and death-march drums into small but sure hooks; it snags the sounds of the past and makes them shiver and shake in strangely expressive ways.

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