40 Watt Sun album review – Wider Than The Sky

Ex-Warning frontman heads into the emotional hinterlands with new album

40 Watt Sun album cover

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40 Watt Sun singer/guitarist Patrick Walker could never be accused of faking it; sincerity is everything to him and with that, soul-searching and cruel realisations come.

40 Watt Sun’s second full-length, Wider than the Sky takes a different tack to their 2011 debut, which followed Walker’s former band Warning’s 2006 swansong opus, Watching from a Distance. The biggest surprise is that the distortion has been scaled back to reveal the bones of the arrangements, settling on understated minimalism rather than weighty, crestfallen doom.

This may initially sadden those expecting heavier sounds, but the battered and bruised heart of the band beats louder because of it. The six lengthy songs unfurl without great urgency, and while deliberately sparse, much like the somnambulant gait of Earth – or even R.E.M. for shiny unhappy people – it’s the life-weary yearning in Walker’s voice that holds all the tragedy. And now that his sombre melodies and intensely honest lyrics are the obvious centrepiece, his open wounds – and old scars – are more in evidence than ever.