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Uncle Walker's Amber Restorative / Spirit Lake

Mar 14, 2013


Amid the abundance of indie rock and Americana folk that (somewhat) defines Portland’s music scene these days, Spirit Lake has emerged to offer the sweat, the swagger and the fuel of popular rock ’n’ roll spiked with a range of other genres.

The group’s debut full-length album, “Uncle Walker’s Amber Restorative,” has a foundation in the the proto-punk sound of the late 60s and early 70s. It’s arty, but primitive. It swings with a combination of blues, pop and rock like The Rolling Stones (especially “My My My” and “Walk Back to L.A.”), then slowly grinds countrified distortion into its melodies.

The band toes the line between psychedelic and country on the ballads “Hold Your Own” and “Risk/Reward,” like Neil Young & Crazy Horse. Elsewhere, the band injects moments of grunge, metal and T-Rex-ish glam into the mix, creating a blend that’s smooth but with a kick, kind of like the album’s namesake (a Johnny Walker product).

Overall, it’s an eclectic set of Brit and American influences that Spirit Lake laid down on its debut. But as the songs course over a multitude of terrains, you realize no matter the components in this blend, in the end it goes down like good rock ‘n’ roll should.

Spirit Lake plays with Wes Phillips on Saturday at the Wildwood Hotel in Willamina. Music begins at 9 p.m. For more info, call 503-876-7100.

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