Sunwheel Psychedelic’s Burning Doves albums is an interesting journey into unique territory.
Sunwheel Psychedelic is the one-man project of G.W. Miner, former guitarist for the Electric Hellfire Club. Don’t let the reference fool you; the two couldn’t be further from each other on the musical map. While EHC is Satanic electronica, Sunwheel Psychedelic’s sound might be described as “adult contemporary rock”, dishing out a vibe nestled somewhere in between the Cult-lite and Dave Navarro.
The more I listen to “Burning Doves”, the less I would even classify it as a rock album. Sure, there are a few rock riffs, and the drums have enough echo on them to make Led Zeppelin jealous, but the majority of the songs here come off as extremely mellow. It’s the kind of concert you go to where everyone ends up just standing around, staring at the stage.
Miner’s guitar work shines on tracks like “Lilies of Vice”, which has one foot planted solid in the blues. It’s obvious throughout the album the guy is really gifted on the six string, so it’s too bad that he doesn’t let us hear more of it. Instead, moments of goodness are sprinkled throughout the entire journey which near the end left me yawning. “Burning Doves” could have really used an upbeat rocker around track 8 or 9. Instead, the album seemed to get more quiet and more acoustic as it went on. Combine this with repetitive riffs, and the album feels about twice as long as it really is. Track 10, “Temple in My Heart”, repeats the same chorus and riff over and over, dragging the album on way too long. The last track of the disc (“Loaded”) tries to push the tempo back up, but its generic (and familiar) rock riff offers too little too late.
Miner is an awesome guitarist, but like many one-man projects, seems to have lost his way a bit on Burning Doves. Most producers would have cut the fat from this disc and pushed Miner back into the studio to crank out more material to match the finer moments of this disc. As it is, Burning Doves is interesting, but not that enjoyable.