“Whale Oil is on the front lines of keeping the power trio tradition alive. Brian Saxton pounds his drumkit for all it’s worth and sings (well, screams) with an astoundingly high level of energy. Bill Scanlan on guitar tears his way through tracks with dirty tones and a take-no-prisoners attitude. McCrae Hathaway, backup vocals and bass, lays down the bottom-end by giving raw energy a solid foundation to fall back on. Whale Oil describes themselves as “Barn Rock.” This label is refreshing in the heap of overproduction that dominates the modern music market. Whale Oil is raw. Bass, guitar, drums and vocals make raucous sounds that should only be listened to loud. “Too Much,” for example, starts the album off right with bashing guitar, pounding drums and vocal chords stretched to their limits. Saxton summarizes the band’s philosophy well when he screams, “I’m gonna fuck it up just because.” Mistakes don’t seem to matter when a power trio is plowing through a tune with”
““Whale Oil’s new record is a drunken joyride driven by rock and roll. Singer/drummer Brian Saxton has a gruff voice that adds power and energy to already forceful tunes and is unafraid to drop and f-bomb or five when the time comes. The guitars, courtesy of Bill Scanlan, are loud and wild and McCrae Hathaway’s mighty, impressive bass playing holds things down when things get crazy – which they do. There are rave-ups (“Too Much”, “Lights Out”), there are epics (“Senses”, “New Epic”) but all that really matters is it rocks.””
““No frills here. It’s rowdy blues-punk made for breaking a head-bobbing sweat and wagging a finger at “the man”. Whale Oil is comfortable in their own skin and the result is an earnest, fun sound. Of course I want to wave some cheap beer around to “Hadlock Field”, a Portland anthem, or punch any/all available surfaces to “Lights Out”. The trio has their priorities straight: make you dance, make you want to scream along, make you stop doing both of those things to witness a raunchy (in a good way) guitar solo. It’s greasy party music with heart and worth a listen.”
““Whale Oil is a young power trio delivering just what Portland needs right now: simple, straight-ahead, ass-kickin’ rock ’n’ roll. Imagine the first Rush album if they let John Rutsey sing and you’re more than halfway to appreciating this promising debut.””
““…they’re now the three members of the power trio Whale Oil, making ramshackle, loose-limbed rock that hearkens back to the freewheeling garage punk of The Replacements, the noisy jangle of Dinosaur Jr. and the wild ruckus of early Creedence Clearwater Revival.””
““There will likely be introductions here, too, for even the most devout local fans. Whale Oil might be a revelation, with a 1990s-Northampton sound, a sneaky-good mid-song instrumental break in “Towards the End,” which is the song you’re most likely to need to hear again immediately.””
"...Add to that stellar opening sets by local psychedelic rockers Jeff Beam and Friends, and the charging punk-driven sounds of Whale Oil, and this was surely one helluva of a good time. Phew."