Volume 96, Issue 62
Tuesday, January 21, 2003

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CD REVIEW: Whaling
Whaling just can't catch a hit

Whaling
Better Late than Never
Unsigned



Rundown: With their second CD, Whaling – formerly known as the Whaling Blue Trio – pumps out an even grittier, blues-inspired offering. Vocalist/lead guitarist Mike Whaling growls out lyrics in between flashy guitar solos, reminding the listener of Colin James and Days of the New. Based out of the Toronto area, Whaling makes a well-intentioned foray into a heavier, more rock-based sound, with mixed results.

Key Tracks: The last track on the album is ironically the band's best. Laced with Stevie Ray Vaughan inspired guitar solos, "Goodbye Goodnight" shows that the band truly shines when playing straight blues. With vocals that are both tender and gravely, Whaling gives the song an authentic feel. However, the entire album seems to lack fullness, and with only one guitar, the vocals offset the well-written tracks and give the album an unbalanced feel.

Sounds Like: Unlike many blues-rock bands, Whaling do not have "Stevie Ray" or "Jimi" written all over them. Their attempt at originality is not a completely wasted effort, and they do a good job at forging their own sound. However, the band seems to be reigned in. The songs come off sounding formulaic at times, which creates the impression of flatness and unoriginality. For all their effort, Whaling still can't seem to catch a hit.

–Steve Pizzale

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2002 THE GAZETTE