“Spirit Lake, which came together in the spring of 2009, combines its members’ love for the Rolling Stones and Gram Parsons with their history of crafting arena-size pop-rock. Uncle Walker’s Amber Restorative adds emotive sturm und drang to the band’s building blocks of Delta blues and early Americana. Songs like “High Desert Saints” touch on the migratory struggles that defined the Oregon Territory nearly two centuries ago, while “My My My” provides a cowpoke’s reinterpretation of the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.””
“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 then slowly grinds countrified distortion into its melodies. The band toes the line between psychedelic and country on the ballads 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).”
"...Spirit Lake's new EP, Between Me and the Mountain, is a much-needed shot of wailing rock (think of the Black Keys hanging out with Exile on Main Street-era Stones, but with just a pinch of woodsy pre-grunge fare for good measure) in Portland's all-too-precious arm. Frontman Travis Ferguson has been around the block a few times with his previous band the Days (drummer Brian Head is still onboard) and his formative group, Marigold, but this one is a little more raw and moody, and it's a good look."
"Spirit Lake finally came to the stage to celebrate its EP release, of Between Me and the Mountain. The lead singer Travis Ferguson's often manic yells mixed well with the band's furious tempos. The drummer himself was the force that orchestrated the band's often flailing movements, the sound pulling blues and rustic roots rock from thin air. The ferocious guitar work kept things primal enough for the crowd to feel the urgency of the songs... we all felt the fever that fueled these tunes. Head over to the band's CD Baby to grab the new EP."