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Reignwolf live @ Northcote Social Club 12.12.13

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After only being introduced to Reignwolf by a friend a few days ago, I am already hooked. I watched a clip and got goosebumps. Jordan Cook aka Reignwolf, is as charismatic as it comes and there is certainly a lot of hype surrounding him. Cook was playing smoked-filled blues clubs at the age of six, Montreux Jazz Festival at 16 where he shared a stage with Van Morrison and BB King and was recording with members of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam a few years later.

Sometimes all that hype matters and sometimes it’s unimportant baggage that can weigh you down with expectations. Only one thing truly matters, and that is from the minute Reignwolf hits the stage he owns the f**k out of that room!

His vocals sway between early Robert Plant and the husky tones of Tom Waits; his guitar down tuned blues with loads of the dirt left on and he sweats the masters like Muddy Waters and BB King, the latter’s signature is worn proudly on his Gibson guitar.

The night was to launch Monster Children Magazine’s Issue 41. Reignwolf was the only band with DJ Hand Of Doom on either side. The set started a more than fashionably 30 minutes late due to previous commitments but once the curtains were drawn back, all was forgiven. So much energy slams you hard and fast from Cook that you can’t help but get your groove on. He springs around while playing guitar, sometimes only with one hand while hanging on to his mic. His feet stumble about the stage, at times playing his own bass drum and at others trying to untangle themselves from the leads getting twisted about.

After the first song and solo introduction, the band came and joined Cook on stage; featuring Joseph Braley on drums and David T Rappaport on guitar; both also in their own band Mothers Anger. They both lock in effortlessly and take the sound up several more notches on the explosive ladder. The sound is a raw organised chaos that’s delivered with perfection. It feels effortless and that just comes down to natural talent.

There are of course The White Stripes comparisons due to the minimalistic approach but even when Jack White was playing it dirtier there seemed to be a level of keeping the lid on things, of not letting it get too out of hand. Reignwolf is the opposite; it’s all about letting everything get totally out of control, letting the music knock everyone including Cook off their feet. The crowd don’t just see him sweating they feel that heightened sense of awareness that’s screaming through his veins. You know that moment that Michael J Fox goes that little bit too far as Marty McFly in Back To The Future? He’s up onstage playing Johnny B. Goode and the audience are stunned as they don’t know what the hell is going on. That level of McFly frenzy is Reignwolf’s entire set! Although unlike the crowd in Back To The Future, his crowd go nuts!

Highlights from the set; pretty much just the beginning to end. Two standouts if I had to choose, Are You Satisfied and Mandolin Song.

Reignwolf’s debut album hits in 2014 and the future looks set to get even bigger as the band will be supporting Black Sabbath on their Canadian tour in April 2014.

Photo’s by Adam Russ – Right Eye Media Australia.

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