Spellbinding, dark, hypnotic, rich with grooves is “Hear Me Out,” Reignwolf ’s first release.
“Black and Red” kicks in with a steady beat and gritty guitar that moves to thick fuzz bliss. Add on the appealing vocals of guitarist Jordon Cook on top of the driving soundscape and you have the ingredients for a modern sound with the appeal of grunge yet the drive of a stripped-down White Stripes.
“Keeper” is a favorite track that brings a deep yet soulful pleading groove with counter melodies to keep it interesting. “Son of a Gun” brings a brooding Soundgarden-esque vibe. “Alligator” serpentines a chewy grungy groove. The angsty “Over and Over” with lines like “… break my bones… bleed my brain… it makes no difference… it’s always the same…” keeps the listener on edge and waiting for release. The middle section gives short respite and “Over and Over” kicks in again to drive the angst to its conclusion. The album’s sum is one dark driving soundscape with interesting turns and twists of songcraft and production.
Saskatoon, Canada native Cook formed Reignwolf more than a half dozen years ago when he relocated to Seattle. Driven by heavy songs and an-over-the top energetic show, it became apparent that Reignwolf would grab attention. By 2014, Rolling Stone started trumpeting the talent of the band that had already opened for the Pixies and Black Sabbath on tour. Cameron Crowe noticed the band and tapped Reignwolf to appear on his Showtime drama, “Roadie.”
The album production reminds me of Trent Reznor’s early Nine Inch Nails albums. The vocals are dimed out and clipping, the drums are huge and the sound covers the full spectrum. Cook’s guitar playing is tasteful and interesting, bassist S.J. Kardash is crushing the low end and keeping the groove fat while drummer Joseph Braley’s driving beats lock in step with Kardash.
“Hear Me Out” is worth doing just that.
— Mark Sepulveda
‘Hear Me Out’
Release: March 1, 2019