Review – Saturday 1

Review – “Saturday”. Michael Azerrad. Rolling Stone Feb. 25, 1988 p.80 (2).

The next American music mecca might just be Austin, Texas, which has produced a bumper crop of astounding new bands, including The Reivers. Saturday,– their major label debut- is a world apart from The Reivers’ more sinewy 1985 effort Translate Slowly (then they were called Zeitgeist; they lost the rights to that name to a New Age group that probably deserves it). Here the Reivers go for the grand gesture in a way that reminds you that it’s nearly a lost art. With Southern soundmeister Don Dixon at the board, the sound is big: big guitars and massive, reverberating drums summon up everything from country-inflected power-pop to Zeppelinesque Klang und Schtomp.

Above the fray are honest-to-gosh melodies and a sultry romanticism spun by lead singers John Croslin and Kim Longacre. Croslin (who wrote virtually all of the songs) sounds a lot like the young Lou Reed, nasal and deadpan, while Longacre has a strong, clear voice that makes a soaring lead instrument. Their harmonies, coupled with the guitar sound, suggest a sublime hybrid of X and the Pretenders, especially on tracks like “In Your Eyes”, “Once in a While” and “What Am I Doing.”

You might expect precious lyrics from a band named after a William Faulkner novel, and lyrically the Reivers are ambitious, but the images are rich and evocative. On the dreamy “Electra,” Croslin sings, “In wastelands of Romans/Into a mystic blue remembering names of you”; “Secretariat” uses the legendary Triple Crown winner as a metaphor for an ideal lover. The album’s centerpiece, “Wait For Time,” is about a lover’s tryst. After Longacre murmurs things like “You slip inside this room/In colors of cartoons/With words that whet my wanting,” a transcendent raveup levitates you right out of your chair- it’s an amazing moment on an amazing album. Clearly this is a band to watch.

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