Peter Pisano was not a happy man last summer. With his job as a middle-school science teacher on summer hiatus, the songwriter was granted much time for introspection. What'd he find? A nasty bout of writer's block and a wellspring of sorrow.

One night that changed -- the songs started pouring out. "I was excited, there was a sense of hope, there was something living in me again," Pisano said, calling it nothing short of a musical epiphany.

Pisano soon teamed up with drummer Brian Moen, and that lonely summer spark turned into a blaze, resulting in Peter Wolf Crier's impressive debut LP "Inter-Be." The record can't be easily pegged. There's a clear singer/songwriter element and some rootsy leanings, but Moen's visceral drums and Pisano's high, haunting vocals lend much emotional weight.

The duo experienced a coming-out party of sorts at First Avenue's Best New Bands showcase on Jan. 15, and folks really started paying attention. On Tuesday, indie powerhouse Jagjaguwar announced that it will reissue "Inter-Be" internationally and add Peter Wolf Crier to its esteemed roster, which includes regional talent Bon Iver and Gayngs and legends like Dinosaur Jr. Next up, after co-headlining's Are You Local? showcase at First Avenue on Saturday, PWC will make the trek to the hype-making South by Southwest (SXSW) music conference in Austin, Texas.

"Peter and I have never been in a buzz band before," says Moen, adding that he and Pisano are keenly aware of the pratfalls that loaded, sometimes dubious term possesses. In the past year alone, Twin Cities bands Solid Gold, Lookbook and Red Pens have donned the sometimes dubious "buzz band" crown.

"I think 'buzz' is appropriate in its onomatopoeic sense -- it's loud, it gets your attention but it's also annoying," Pisano says. "No one wants that shit to be around forever," Still, he's not daunted. "If people are going to be told, 'You should go listen to [Peter Wolf Crier],' I'm not gonna be afraid of what they're going to find." And the Jagjaguwar signing, which Pisano calls a tremendous honor and a huge validation, proves the industry is every bit as confident as he.

So where do they want to take this? There are careers to contend with -- Pisano, 26, calls his teaching gig the greatest responsibility one can have short of parenting. Moen, 28, juggles his graphic design career, but feels music's tug from both PWC and Laarks, his other band. The guys have received "incredible" tour offers in the wake of the Jag signing, but had to deflect them due to their day jobs, Pisano lamented.

"We want to play professionally; we'd like to be able to quit the other jobs," he explains. "Or get to a point where we can make that decision." Ask them whether that would be a tough decision and the response is instant: no. Both guys say they've made that decision for years, sacrificing other areas of life for music.

It would be a fruitless endeavor to patronize some critic's crystal ball and project where Peter Wolf Crier will be in a year. Hell, Pisano's inspirational jolt could disappear as suddenly as it arrived last summer. But right now, with "Inter-Be" and music-industry support, the duo has something the Pitchfork masses could readily eat up, and the freedom to steer its momentum in any direction.