40 Watt Sun - The Inside Room

Posted on Monday, September 19, 2011

Holy fuck! I had read this was good, but I had no idea it was going to be my motherfucking album of the year. If the Cyclone Empire label isn’t an assured seal of the highest quality then I don’t know what is. Top shelf Death Metal bands on their roster aplenty, now they are cornering the Doom market as well. England’s 40 Watt Sun rose from the ashes of the band Warning, whom I have never heard before but you can bet your sweet ass I’ll be tracking down their entire back catalog after hearing this heartbroken masterpiece. As with all perfect things, the method here is beautiful simplicity. Slow, mesmerizing riffs enveloped in a guitar distortion heavier than King Kong’s ballbag. I was amazed to see this was a trio and that there was only one guitarist. Their entire practice space must be comprised of Marshall stacks instead of walls. Patrick Walker, the man behind the riffs, is also responsible for The Inside Room’s greatest treasure, his flawless clean singing and the heartfelt-to-the-point-of-tears lyrics he recites. It is truly an amazing accomplishment when a band writes a 10-minute song that feels like it’s over too soon, leaving the listener begging for more, wishing it was even longer. These guys open the album with two of them back-to-back. The mournful combo of “Restless” and “Open My Eyes” would be the pinnacle of some band’s entire careers. 40 Watt Sun achieve it with the first two songs of their debut album. I’m not at all ashamed to admit the latter did have me in tears. You see, he writes primarily about relationships. The pain, the joy, the vulnerability, the weakness, the longing, the loss, the desperation, and the separation. And Walker chooses his words all too well for me sometimes. How could they top leading off the album with these two monumental anthems of sorrow? With three more. As all smart bands do, they find a formula that works and then stick to it, never treading far from the comfort zone. Does that make for similar-sounding songs within the framework? Yes, thankfully it does. All the songs sound similarly awesome. The only real question is how they could ever possibly top this album. For the non-lifelover, the only thing I could recommend more would be suicide.

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