Reviews – Re-Releases 2

Review- “Saturday” and “End of the Day” re-releases. Ken Lieck. The Austin Chronicle, April 26, 2002.

The long-awaited CD release of these two albums, which the Reivers originally released on Capitol Records to little fanfare, once again brings up the question: What went wrong? Where most Austin acts lucky enough to snag major-label deals crippled themselves with albums that were either short of good material or burdened with overwrought, or just inappropriate, production, the Reivers’ Capitol debut Saturday was packed with instant classics. Moreover, while Don Dixon’s production was slicker than the local group’s indie efforts, it still jelled with the band’s material. A strong set of tunes with the right mix of jangle and sweetness, and a one-two vocal punch of John Croslin and Kim Longacre, fans expected Austin’s Reivers to become the next U2 or R.E.M., and from the ringer “Electra” (previously released in a different form on a homemade 45) to shoulda-been-a-hit singles like “What Am I Doing?,” “In Your Eyes,” and “Saturday,” it’s not hard to see why. In the end, the disc made eternal devotees of those who heard it, even though their numbers were far from legion. Co-leader Croslin took the helm as co-producer of the follow-up, End of the Day, with Andy Metcalfe. The result was hardly a precipitous drop-off in quality, but offered little that Saturday hadn’t already delivered. With a vaguely palpable pall of band frustration and a song selection that doesn’t quite inspire the listener as much as its predecessor, End of the Day inspired naught but further indifference by Capitol and indeed ended the Reivers’ day at the label. It’s still a lovely, moody, and tuneful experience, and basically, if you like one Reivers album, you’ll like them all. Dualtone’s reissues add the solid original “Bidin’ Time” and a somewhat uninspired cover of Daniel Johnston’s “True Love Will Find You” to Saturday, and live staple “Tell Me So” and the Tony Bennett standard “Green Dolphin Street” to End of the Day.

(Saturday- 3 1/2 stars)

(End of the Day- 3 stars)