"Burning Doves" (Self-produced; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Sunwheel Psychedelic is really one man: G.W. Miner - recording engineer, producer, artist, and multi-talented musician who once played in The Electric Hellfire Club and the Sons of Midnight. Miner does it all here: guitars, bass, drums, production. Those types of projects go awry more often than not. Happily, that isn't the case here. "Burning Doves" is a fascinatingly fresh yet simultaneously familiar exploration of electric blues and free form rock.

As one might expect, the guitars are the star here, ranging from the chunky, blues-heavy riffs of "Persephone" to the gentle strumming of "A Drop in the Mirror Pool." Miner is a hell of a player, playing with more heart and passion than you'd expect from the sometimes intentionally sterile production; the juxtaposition there is riveting. And the leads are sharp and fiery hot.

But Miner is no slouch on the drums, bass or other instruments either. He may not shine like he does on the guitar, but - listening to "Burning Doves" unaware - you'd never guess that one guy is delivering every note you're hearing. Miner is more than adequate in every aspect here, including the production which is crisp, clear and - when so desired - eerily quiet.

Only on vocals is Miner hit and miss, sometimes sounding a little like Dave Mustaine, others like the spoken word delivery of Ace Frehley (delivery only, not tone, thank goodness). At still other times, his vocals ascend to the other high quality aspects of the song and fit that particular track like a glove. Bottom line: Miner's vocals are a little inconsistent but never intolerable.

Overall, "Burning Doves" is a great record if you're in the mood for something a little out of the ordinary (but nothing too far) and something a little looser and spontaneous in nature. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2000 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:19 -0400.