“Sold Out Forever” read the concert listing at Ditch Records.
Reignwolf, aka Jordan Cook performs messy, stripped down rock and roll with a take no-prisoner, do it yourself attitude. Playing a powerful yet minimalist brand of rock and roll with a healthy dose of blues, Reignwolf’s front man Jordan Cook stands out not as a guitarist, lyricist or songwriter, but as a rocker. Climbing to the stage in front of an exceptional eager Victoria audience, Cook delved into his cut “Electric Love” without accompaniment. Unveiling a covered kick drum at the front of the stage, Reignwolf began its onslaught with thick, low-trembled guitar lines complemented by a stomp-powered kick drum. With sweat beading down Cook’s face at the completion, of the second or third song, the energy of the room was full of electricity. Between the faint scent of lit incense, an unusually devoted audience and the antics of an uncompromising artist in love with his craft, Reignwolf’s performance worked the audience into a frenzy and left Victoria rock n’ roll fans screaming for more.
Originating in the prairie city of Saskatoon, Jordan Cook has relocated to Seattle where he has found himself collaborating with the likes of Matt Cameron, Drummer of grunge powerhouses Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Within easy striking distance of Victoria, Reignwolf is no stranger to Vancouver Island and performed at Rifflandia’s 2012 festival. Recently, Reignwolf performance during Rock the Shore’s 2013 festival at the Juan De Fuca recreation centre has been the talk of the town. Despite playing an early set on the Sunday, Cook’s ferocious kick-drum, fuzzy hallow bodied guitar work and dynamic R n’B styled vocals not only set a high standard for following acts, but was largely considered the highlight of the entire festival. Capturing the attention of many thousands of concert goers, music fans who managed to snag a ticket to Lucky Bar appeared more than a little appreciative of the stripped down, yet hard driving rock and roll. With Reignwolf selected as the opening act for the Canadian leg of Black Sabboth’s 2014, the chance to see a performer with a future so full of potential was heavily appreciated.
In an age where so many artists have grown increasing complex and abstract, there is a refreshing quality to Reignwolf, who takes the stage to bang out a pretention-less rock n’roll without stopping to worry about rough edges. Rough edges actually define Reignwolf, composing a style that embraces space, feedback and volume. Featuring an unique method of mid song percussion breaks, Cook has a special start/stop percussive style. Paired with a loud, raunchy minimalism, this flavour of drumming serves to emphasize the width and crunch of Cook’s black hallow body Gibson guitar as well as his smoky rise and fall vocals. Chewing through the majority of his body of work, Cook spent much of the performance embellishing his stomp-rocking tunes with extended jams. Eventually joined by an additional guitar and a full percussionist, Reignwolf’s aesthetic need not struggle to appeal to fans of The Black Keys and the robot-styled rock of Queens of the Stone Age. After returning to the stage for an encore, Cook called a long time Saskatoon friend to the stage to accompany him on drums. Cook commented on the continued support of his hometown friend with tone of reverence and appreciation. Having used the totality of their set time, Cook was not ready to call it a night. After blasting through a few more spirited rock and roll numbers, Reignwolf act ended past curfew, drenched in perspiration to an adoring audience. Reignwof’s rock and roll is by no means unique but Cook’s spirited one man performance stands out in an age where rock has grown over polished and needlessly complex.
Photos of Reignwolf © Rob Porter