The Bottom Line: It could have been a whole lot better. Maybe the next album will do it.
He is not a household name but his playing is familuar to guitar aficionados all over the world. If you have seen G3 during the Steve Vai days, you have seen Dave Weiner perform. As one of the guitarist in the Vai band, Weiner has a reputation as a very talented musician, which he is. But that is not the only consideration when making an instrumental CD. All the talent in the world means nothing if you cannot create music that people want to hear.
When it comes to instrumentals, I for one want music that can move me. A piece that tells me something with it's melody. Or maybe makes me feel the message the artist is trying to convey. This is where the problem lies with Shove the Sun Aside.While it highlights the great ability of Weiner, it is an album that has no heart, no soul. The songs are technically brilliant with Dave tearing up his 7-string for most of the disc. But that is what you get for the most part. It almost sounds to me like a bunch of guitar solos expanded out and pieced together instead of trying to make songs that flow. Like in the title track "Shove the Sun Aside". It feels like guitar solo after guitar solo with a reoccurring theme. It has some terrific playing but it just does not grab you and hold you for the whole song.
There is some really good moments on this album too. I really enjoy the song "The Ghost of Denmark St.". It has this cool jazzy melody line that gets punctuated by some very heavy blast of distortion. The contrast makes for a great piece of music. When he breaks out for his metal moments, it sounds like a guitar solo within this instrumental piece.
I also enjoyed the song "Tourmaline"where he uses an acoustic guitar to offset his 7 string attack. This song makes me feel like I am on the shore of Lake Michigan, staring out and seeing the freighters go by and the waves crashing beside me. The serenity of the place is the super acoustic guitar and the mighty ships and powerful waves are played by his Ibanez. It is a terrific piece.
From there though, I would have to say that the rest of the disc is pretty much an exercise in "Watch how good I can play". It is without the creative songwriting that is so apparent in the songs I have mentioned above.
I read a piece about John Petrucci one time where his playing was called "Nothing more than doodling". I didn't really understand what he meant until I heard this album. Although I do not agree with the Petrucci statement, I now see where he was coming from. Weiner just seems to be rambling all over the place without consistancy or cohesion. The songs give you great examples of guitar mastery, but they sound as if they belong within the context of another piece of music.
Dave is a great guitar player, there is no doubt about that. He shows it time and time again on this disc. But there is little on it that will keep you coming back for more. With the exception of a couple tracks, this one is simply background music.
1. Andonova 2. Long Run 3. Monument Shine 4. The Ghost of Denmark St. 5. Tourmaline 6. Shove the Sun Aside 10. Dave's Party Piece
You may notice that I skipped tracks 7-9. That is because they are just dead air filler. Must be some kind of inside joke.
When Steve Vai decided to step out of the shadow of his mentor Frank Zappa, he hit a home run. Dave, without Vai by his side, only manages a weak single, just out of the shortstops reach.
Great Music to Play While: Sleeping
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
About the reviewer
I am an avid music buff and write reviews for many sites. I have managed bands and frequent concerts in Michigan and photograph them. If it is good music, I will be there!
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.