Exposé Online banner

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

Latest news

2019-12-11
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Iona - The Book of Kells – Imagine the best elements of Enya/Clannad blended with the folk-rock presence of Fairport Convention with Sandy Denny, make it a bit more progressive and powerful, and top it off with a Christian...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues