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Action Dreamer — In the Hole Studio
((Not on label) no#, 1999, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2000-10-01

In the Hole Studio Cover art

Action Dreamer is described on the sleeve as 'Alternative Music for Wondering Minds.' The alternative tag could stick since these songs are definitely not like anything you've likely ever heard. Unfortunately for singer / songwriter Ronnie Heber and co., that's because these tunes are just so god-awfully bad. This is suburban alterna-prog-pop of the worst sort and demonstrates the downside of the democratization of music distribution that the Internet now provides. The vocal songs try for a quirky cool a la Adrian Belew while the instrumentals aim for a Wakeman-like ornamental simplicity. Neither approach works due to a few fatal flaws in the scheme. Firstly, lyrics like "Would you like some kind of specialty finish? / My wife does this thing / Makes your walls look like spinach" are meant to be taken seriously. Secondly, the keyboard Heber plays sounds like it was found at the local Wal-Mart and the entire collection sounds like it was recorded on the cheapest equipment possible. Lastly, the quality of Heber's voice (an oxymoron to be sure) and his 13-year old kid's drumming leaves much to be desired (to put it kindly). If further proof is needed, just take a song like "Lady," no doubt an ode to Heber's wife that includes the lyric "Lying in the sun wondering about the creatures of the world / Like the rabbits, the squirrels, and the skunks." Fortunately, the vocals are so buried in reverb that they're barely understandable. I've got one message for you, Ronnie: Don't quit your day job.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 20, 1999 releases

Related artist(s): Action Dreamer

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