40 Watt Sun
The Empty Room

40 Watt Sun is the new band from Warning’s Patrick Walker and if you’re familiar with Warning and Walker’s signature vocal style, you’ve some idea of what to expect. The Inside Room is dour, pallid, melancholic doom for the most part. Though similar to Warning in many respects, 40 Watt Sun is more drone and buzz than their traditionally flavored predecessor. Warm and languid, listening to the Inside Room is kind of like watching a depressed friend cry in their beer. It can come across sad and pathetic, but after a few drinks you might find yourself right there with him, crying about how your dad never came to your baseball games.

There are no real memorable riffs here. The songs meander along with little sense of direction or urgency. There aren’t any dramatic shifts in speed, tone or mood. The music has a warm, pleasant hum and buzzes along slowly. The vocals are what propel the music and Patrick Walker’s voice burnishes the songs with a lustrous sheen of melancholy. His performance is to be lauded, but if you can’t identify with the mood or emotion of the album it just won’t engage your attention. Subtle layering in the music and vocals emerge when it piques your interest and it’s pretty enjoyable when it does but it’s easy to become disinterested after 15 or 20 minutes of the stuff.

The effort is admirable but unlike more riff focused efforts, there are no particular moments that jump out at you. 40 Watt Sun are intent on building a mood, not crushing your with heavy riffs so it’s hard to fault them for not being something they aren’t. It’s not bad by any stretch of the imagination, just overwrought emotionally, and when you can’t connect to it on that level it’s just not very interesting.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chuck Kucher
January 30th, 2012

Comments

  1. Commented by: bast

    I connected with it and it´s overwhelming, just listen to the last 2 tracks…


  2. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Im with Chuck on this, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


  3. Commented by: thisblacksession

    I tried to enjoy this, and I guess it does well enough as background music, but when I try to focus on it I just wind up taking a nap.

    Like Chuck said, not bad… just not terribly interesting, either.


  4. Commented by: stiffy

    I love doom metal but this does nothing for me. Too Whinny


  5. Commented by: bast

    I think you have to go with a Jesu/late-era-Katatonia frame of mind more than a doom one, to enjoy this…


  6. Commented by: Autonymous

    I believe the album is called “The Inside Room”.


  7. Commented by: terp

    Really like this. Reminds me of Bob Mould.


  8. Commented by: elguerosinfe

    unlistenable.


  9. Commented by: GW

    It’s on of those albums that has gotten ridiculous acclaim. It is a major borefest and it’s great to see some people agree. It sounds like Joan Baez songs slowed down with massive distortion. It goes absolutely nowhere and takes too long to do so.
    One of the most over-hyped albums of all time.
    Frankly i am surprised so many metalheads like this shit.


  10. Commented by: gabaghoul

    absolutely did not understand the hype on this. (or a number of other albums that were lauded at one of the other major review sites, for that matter).

    pleasant but dull, and whether you paid attention to the lyrics or not, the music was never heart-rending or lush enough to be moving.

    for those of you looking to bum out to something, the new Woburn House crushes this


  11. Commented by: jerry

    you guys do realize that dull is what sells right? even metalheads want catchy music devoid of innovation. why do you think traditional metal is still relatively safe to release, and iron maiden records will still get positive reviews?


  12. Commented by: GW

    I don’t know how one gets from 40 Watt Sun to Iron Maiden. My main problem with this album is lack of catchy and a lack of metal tradition.


  13. Commented by: gabaghoul

    yeah even the latest Maiden (despite its weak spots, still their best since Brave New World imo) smoked this


  14. Commented by: timshel

    kind of like a doom metal version of Red House Painters. It’s okay. That band wasn’t about riffs either.


  15. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    liking this stuff. BRRRRZZZZZZZZZ


  16. Commented by: bast

    Agree with timshel…


  17. Commented by: Clauricaune

    I dig it.

    Chuck said it: the point here is creating a mood and atmosphere, not hooking you up with riffs. If you’re not into droney stuff, you probably won’t like this.


  18. Commented by: Razorhog

    My #1 from 2011. It’s different, but it had a profound affect on me. The music, lyrics, and vocals all come together to create an overwhelming feeling sadness and loneliness. To me, the album portrays the emotions one feels when a loved one is mentally ill or terminally ill. Don’t know if that was the intention, but it is powerful.


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