Hopes were high for a collaboration last summer when Reignwolf said he was “VIBEN in a hot garage with 3 mics and a four-track” with drummer Brad Wilk of Rage Against The Machine. The anticipated output of this jamming is a hard-hitting new song called “The Woods,” which comes with a gooey-trippy animated video directed by Glendon & Isabella. The synergy between Jordan Cook and Brad Wilk lights up like a fast-burning fuse in this rhythmic scorcher. Over Wilk’s snappy snare hits and exciting builds, Cook’s growling guitar tones sound eerily unique. Reignwolf has leveraged a freezer-cooled pedal before, so it’s no surprise there’s some secret to the sauce that seems to elude real gear heads too.


“The Woods” was recorded straight to tape in one day at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles (in the room where Prince recorded “Purple Rain”). You can tell from the production quality that it got white-glove treatment, mixed by Tony Hoffer and mastered by Howie Weinberg – who both worked on Reignwolf’s 2019 record, Hear Me Out, in the same capacities. Once he’d put it down on tape with Wilk, Cook called Tony Hoffer, who reportedly wanted “more of this.” He and Hoffer “just talked about early punk rock and rock & roll” as it came together. What you hear today was actually version one because, as Cook noted, “I couldn’t stop thinking how he nailed it on the first mix.” You can watch the Wölf and Wilk in action, using instruments made out of cardboard, for an added twist, in the Cardboard Sessions video also captured at Sunset Sound.


Those who have given Hear Me Out a lot of spins may pick up on some lyrical callbacks in “The Woods,” which seems to continue themes from “Over & Over” – even beyond the “animals in the woods.” Before, it was “Hear your voice, scream my name.” Now, it’s “Didn’t listen, man I’m wishing maybe that I could.” Environmentally, “waterfalls” have turned into repeated strikes of “lightning.” And “You’re sleep walking again” has become “You woke me up like it never happened.” The line, “Got this feeling we’re not out of the woods,” is also a cohesive next chapter after his previous single, 2020’s “Cabin Fever,” which spoke to seclusion early in the pandemic. European fans are getting the first live tastes of “The Woods” on Reignwolf’s current tour, which covers nineteen festivals in less than a month. Listeners are already asking if Reignwolf and Brad Wilk will do more as a duo, and the fact that “Wilk” is Polish for “Wolf” seems to be a positive sign. 


Article: Olivia Isenhart



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