40 Watt Sun – The Inside Room

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to decide what album should have the dubious honour of being the first post for the past twelve hours. It seems like such a massive decision (it’s not really), but I thought I needed to give a fairly approachable album at first. Something not too out there or extreme or mad. And this album has basically been ruling my musical life since it came out.

So here it is:

1. Restless

2. Open My Eyes

3. Between Times

4. Carry Me Home

5. This Alone

The Inside Room is bloody fantastic. The driving force behind the band is Patrick Walker, previously of Warning. Warning were amazing and disbanded a few years ago, and are still much missed by the metal community. Similar to Warning, 40 Watt Sun are very personal and introspective. The music speaking as much as the lyrics.

The Inside Room feels like the saddest album I ever heard. Every listen brings me one step closer to having a complete breakdown. I’m not that melancholy in real life, I promise ! But the lyrics seem so personal to Pat Walker yet also so personal to me. And I think that’s what makes it great.

The album kicks off with Restless. It’s slow, laden with riffs and Walker’s intensely emotional vocals. And that’s just in the first few minutes. It’s apparent on this album, that in the intervening years between Warning disbanding, and 40 Watt Sun forming, that Walker has developed his songwriting ability and also voice. It’s the perfect start to the album; telling you everything you need to about that band, about the messages they want to put across and if you aren’t some kind of emotional wreck within thirty seconds, there’s probably something wrong with you.

If Open Your Eyes turns out to be the most agonisingly personal song I hear this year, I wouldn’t be surprised. Just listen to the lyrics. It seems like the saddest break up in history. The vocal positively drips with emotion, and after having the pleasure of seeing this song performed acoustically quite recently, I can attest to the power of the lyrics. It’s genuinely heartbreaking. The track is still heavy, drums and bass alike really driving the low end and giving you a gut-wrenching feeling in the pit of your stomach. The outro of the track takes nearly two minutes, fading into the strains of a beautiful acoustic guitar and closing it quite sublimely.

Carry Me Home is easily the stand out track of the album. Full of remorse, regret and the feeling of supreme loneliness. Perhaps the reason I enjoy it so much ! Again, it’s slow, building and building to such anguish that your heart can’t really take much more. Whereas Warning’s last effort, Watching From A Distance felt so full of despair and heartbreak, The Inside Room, whilst still encompassing these themes, feels much more grown up and complete. As if the passage of time has helped Walker comprehend the things that have happened.

The closing track, This Alone is a kind of sparse affair. It’s doomy, slow and has a vocal that seems much more minimal compared to previous songs. So minimal that in the closing few seconds, the final chord is cut off quite abruptly. Initially you may think that it’s a mistake on the recording, but if you’ve really been listening to the album, it makes complete sense for it to end this way. Although, obviously, those involved have grown older, moved onto different lives, the themes of the album are very much rooted in the resolution of issues. And This Alone is clearly dealing with something that can’t quite be resolved. Yet.

Listen to this album if you like doom. If you like sad music that comes from the very depths of the heart. If you like to feel as though you’re being crushed under the weight of your own feelings.

It’s brilliant.

Carry Me Home is probably my favourite track of the album. Here it is for all to enjoy.

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