Friday, September 28, 2007

The Reivers (Zeitgeist) - Translate Slowly (1985)

What can I really say? Call me Johnny come lately, but I was about 20 friggin’ years tardy in investigating this rather snazzy Austin-based quartet. The Reivers originally opened up shop as Zeitgeist, but were forced to change their name about two years after Translate Slowly was released in 1985. During their tenure in the ‘80s The Reivers were part of a little known, folk/modern-rock vanguard dubbed the “New Sincerity,” which you can read more about here. Other so-called “sincerity” outfits like The True Believers, Wild Seeds, Doctor’s Mob, and the slyly named Texas Instruments, were also part of this central-Texan mini-movement that had a firm presence in Austin, but little elsewhere.

With loads of jangly, echoing guitar leads, and vintage college-rock aplomb, the co-ed Reivers recalled some personal favorites such as Dreams So Real, Translator, and perhaps more vaguely, The Replacements. Translate Slowly features a rather stiff rendition of Daniel Johnston’s “Waking the Cow,” amongst of bevy of solid originals. This rip was from the cd version which included bonus tracks. It is now out of print and getting tougher to find.

01. Araby

02. Cowboys
03. Legendary Man
04. Blue Eyes
05. She Digs Ornette
06. Things Don't Change
07. Translate Slowly
08. Sound and the Fury

09. Without My Sight
10. I Knew
11. Freight Train Rain
12. Hill Country Theme
13. Electra (Cd bonus track; originally on Zeitgeist E.P.)
14. Wherehaus Jamb (Cd bonus track; originally on Zeitgeist E.P.)
15. Walking The Cow (Daniel Johnston) (Cd bonus track)



evr said...

Nice one Neal, used to play this on college radio when it came out. When I get my WCVF 1983-1987 "box set" finished (almost 400 artists) I'll get you a copy!

vathek said...

Go figure: i came here looking for Cotton Mather & find The Reivers, one of the bands not likely to float around the net, i would've thought. for a few years since it came out in '91 i regularly played their "pop beloved" (and "saturday"). thx for reminding me & for this one - i'm about to hear it for the first time :-)

:-D Shea said...

The Reivers were a great band, I was lucky to see them once @ TT the Bears in Cambridge MA. They put out 4 albums, find more here:
I still listen to this album regularly, it couldn't be better.

jcleveque said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I own this on vinyl, and have been meaning to rip it so that I can listen to it on my Ipod/car/etc, but haven't around to it. I have been looking for a CD copy (currently in my wishlist at but have been unable to find one. So imagine my pleasure as I come across your site and - there it is! A great album, personally my favorite of theirs.

knuttie said...

Nice post and blog. I've been looking for this album digitally for the last year and I finally found it on eMusic for the grand total of $4.95. And to think I was ready to buy the vinyl for $30 on eBay last summer. The fomd memories of them still holds true.

Thanks for the album cover. It isn't available through iTunes, so I pilfered the image from ya.

I'm a fellow big Rain Parade fan as well. Thanks again.

Psyclist said...

Anyone has the Reivers second: Saturday?


Unknown said...

Is the CD mixed differently than the album? Ive heard mp3s floating around of these tracks and it sounds different t5han my LP. More reverb for one.

normalized said...

These guys were great! I saw them like 3 times in SF, San Jose, Berkeley, always looked forward to their shows. Kim Longacres's vocals always just got you right in the gut.

Somehow never thought the records did justice to the way they sounded live. Heard they got together again and are playing in Austin again.

vaubu said...

Thanks for sharing this. I haven't heard this in years and it was one of my favorites in High School. It's so cool that even the original version of "Electra" is included! The mix sounds the same. I'd like to hear Pete's LP version. Even in the 80's the album sounded a bit muddied in the mix but hey the music still stood out beautifully! I'll have to take "the long way home to be alone a little longer" tonight so I can catch up with this wonderful memory of a record. Thanks again!

For related posts see:

Psyclist said...

Finally found it... both Doctor's Mob albums on one cd, here's the link:

Also there an extra track not on the cd: Lost Of Course

ursaminorjim said...

Nearly two years after the question was asked, but...

Yes, pete - some of (possibly all?) the mixes on Translate Slowly by The Reivers are quite different from Translate Slowly by Zeitgeist. And, in my opinion, not as good. Still, it's a delight to hear these songs again. Bless you Neal!

yo said...

Hi, I was wondering if you could re-up this album. Would love to hear it again.

Thank you very much for your blog

Kind regards

Jazzbo said...

I too was disappointed with the CD version of this album — definitely more reverb than my vinyl original, which I sadly no longer have. If anyone knows where to download a vinyl rip of the original, please advise.

spavid said...

I may or may not have this on vinyl. Just give me a little time to look into it.

sfreem2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sfreem2 said...

Sorry for the necromancy, but is there any way I could get a link to this? (zippy link has expired). I’ve been trying to find a copy of this album for ages! Vinyl version would be fantastic also.

Stefano said...

Can you please repost this album?

Bruce Brodeen said...

As a matter of unofficial history, when this album came out, it caused a pretty nice brush fire for fans of power pop(who may not have even known they were fans of the still muted sub-genre) and most certainly fans of post-REM jangle-pop.

In a period of time with indie music(and certainly the major label landscape), this was a totally FRESH and exciting sound that, along with the Windbreakers, had fans of 'this sound' searching to track down this release and being rewarded.

It was an indie release that really, in its own way, 'mattered'.

And, yes...the Zeitgeist vinyl of this album sounds different but when this came out on CD, I was too enamored with the CD format to listen to the two critically. ;-P