[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/189564081″ params=”color=000000&inverse=false&auto_play=false&show_user=true” width=”100%” height=”20″ iframe=”true” /]
Timberwolf. A pseudonym as mysterious as the sound I was about to encounter. A name that left my spidey senses tingling, and had me hoping for something completely rare, utterly rambunctious, and all-round god damn lustrous, a name that intrigued and delivered goods truly of their own class.
Chris Panousakis cobbles together some indie, some rock, some folk and just a speck of electro as his soars high and swans low in the new Timberwolf EP Flux.
Flux is the sophomore EP from 23 year old muso Chris Panousakis, and his first record with a full band in tow. The EP was both co-produced and recorded by Mark Myers, a former member of Queensalnd indie power group The Middle East. As they spent time recording in Myers’ Cairns studio, Panousakis made sure TME’s much adored darkness made an appearance throughout each of the five tracks “Mark and I worked together through the whole EP to try and draw on some of the darker and more eerie elements of The Middle East’s recordings to highlight songwriting born out of quite a painful experience”. An intense eeriness that makes quite an impact, especially in ghostly closing track Seeker Song.
Panousakis is an Adelaide boy who claims to have a strong penchant for blues, rock and Dire Straits, so inevitably I was hoping for something to take me straight on down to funky town; wailing guitars and deliciously wild solos to knock my brain into a bluesy trance. So, I was surprised to find a stack of intimate contemporary folk/indie inflicted tracks that sounded as though they had been written and recorded after a good Mumford & Sons marathon, topped with a whipping of musical ennui and sprinkled with strange, non-consistent female backing vocals that unraveled distractingly throughout.
Until I heard Flux for the fifth time my body was reluctant to become fully immersed in the correlation of sounds it was being presented with, but upon listening to track #2 Whisky Jar and its short guitar solo that strongly evokes the senses, and duplicates the playing of Mark Knopler’s I couldn’t help but be impressed! Lasting a mere 15 seconds it truly changed my mind, I was captivated, and with his repetition of “Tears on my guitar” it was some heart racing shiz that I just couldn’t break free from. The only evidently blues-rock moment had pulled me straight in and held me down.
Panousakis’ vocals have an outpouring of strength, and his riffs both of the vocal and guitar stature prove to be angelic, greatly suited to the lyrics he so clearly exerts. His songwriting is more so story-telling, with a focus on the dreary matters that lure over the lives of many including loss and temptation. His style of story-telling is well beyond his 23 years, and one of the most noteworthy parts of this somewhat confused EP.
Timberwolf’s lyrical ability is submerging yet I’m still unsure whether I feel disappointed or elated after listening to it on repeat. The band and his guitar are his biggest assets, they have given his lyrics a place to call home, and provided each track the opportunity not to fall into a flat distillation of prosaic tunes. Chris Panousakis is a truly talented musician. He has created an EP that is raw and emotive, yet it’s clear that his identity and solidarity as Timberwolf is still waiting for its full reveal, a reveal that will hopefully see him tap into the rock/blues influences just a tad more, because lord knows something hypnotic happens when he plays his guitar, something truly peculiar and magical, something worth diving into just that little bit deeper.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/189564081″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]