Breathing new life into blues rock


Reignwolf’s debut album “Hear Me Out” astounds


by Alexis Tucker, Editor-in-chief

Reignwolf is a smaller indie/blues-rock band from Canada, and until now, they had only released singles such as “Are You Satisfied?,” “Lonely Sunday,” “In the Dark” and “Hardcore.” “Are You Satisfied?” is a good representation of what the band’s sound is, featuring deep, solemn chords. It starts at a point where it feels distinctly like blues, but then it switches from slow and melancholy to an energetic, fast-paced beat full of anger.

The album “Hear Me Out” contains a total of 10 tracks, but all are masterfully done, with even the weaker parts of the album managing to come out strong. “Hear Me Out” doesn’t fall in a trap of feeling or sounding like the same song as it features several songs that aren’t exactly rock or blues, but are a twist all their own.

“Black and Red” features a simple beat, but the simplicity is its strongest part, letting the words take more of a focus to take the listener on a journey. The song feels like a mix of emotions that comes with sharing your life with someone, whether it be family, friend or significant other. Lead singer, Jordan Cook, laments, “There’s something wrong with me/I let you in/you broke the skin,” which really drives home the complicated emotions relationships have.

“Alligator” has a much more aggressive, complex beat than “Black and Red,” but for good reason. “Alligator” features a more complex sound, but the vocals are more minimal. The anger of the song can be seen by lyrics such as, “You certainly/took your sweet time/Using up/all your bad luck/bad luck.” The beat here is one of the more unique beats on the track besides “Over & Over”.

“Over & Over” is the weakest of all the songs on the album, but it still shows off the band’s style and flair in a unique way. It gets points for that, but it has the most additions in terms of effects like an echo that doesn’t exactly work in the context of the song and it has background “singers” or effects that adds to the main instrumental sound. The weakest point of the song is mainly how the vocals and instrumentals don’t really feel connected. If the vocals were different or the instrumentals, the song would work really well.

“Wanna Don’t Wanna” starts off with a very blues sound, but it transforms again. The vocals seem to draw from that traditional blues sound, and it really adds to how the beat changes over the course of the song.

“Ritual” feels more on par with an Arctic Monkeys song with the slower tempo and sensual vocals. It captures the feelings of infatuation perfectly, with lyrics like “When you know/when you know/you know/Think I might’ve saw you in a dream.”

“Son of a Gun” is one of the bluesier songs. It speeds up, but then it slows down, mimicking the feelings of the singer’s intensity. The singer is frustrated about living in a small town and how it seems to crush the soul: “Well overgrown but was the only one/before you know it you’re everyone else” or other lyrics like “God get me out of this town/Son of a gun” where the vocalist screams “son of a gun!” really driving home the emotions of frustration.

“Wolf River” is the shortest song on the album, clocking in at 1:11, but what it doesn’t have in time, it makes up for in premise and beautiful execution. It feels like someone losing control as Cook literally says, “I’m spinning out of control,” and with the shortness, he manages to capture the sadness and helpless feelings people feel in life. It ends with a deep breath, which really adds to that feeling.

For those with a deep love of rock, Reignwolf will not disappoint. There definitely nice guitar solos and some songs really shine because of the deep bass coupled with the slow melody, which really lets the listener “feel” the bass more unlike many rock songs. They definitely don’t have the deepest lyrics, but simple isn’t bad because it serves to capture a feeling. There is anger, resentment, sadness and anxiety in their songs, and all of this is captured without feeling or sounding dated or familiar. Rock lovers and fans of blues rock, Reignwolf is worth a listen to.