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The Ike Reilly Assassination
We Belong To The Staggering Evening
Rock Ridge Music

One of the first articles I ever wrote (professionally) was a pre-show piece about a Chicago area band called The Ike Reilly Assassination. Sadly, that show was cancelled due to a classic rock'n'roll ailment: broken down van syndrome. I had caught one of their shows at a St. Joseph, Missouri bar named The Bone in 2005; what I said about that show was "it was maybe the best six dollars I ever spent and it was one of the most intimate, entertaining shows that I had ever seen."

The band's 2005 release, Junkie Faithful, was chock full of exceptional lyrics, acoustic ballads and Bob Dylan-esque laments and protest; it was a quality album but it didn't show the full potential that I believed was lurking just below the surface in Mr. Reilly and his topnotch band, The Assassination. With their follow up to Faithful, this year's We Belong To The Staggering Evening, the balls, darkness and power of the band is fully realized; making for one of the best albums of the year. Evening explodes out of the gate with the raucous "8 More Days Till The 4th of July", a piano and gospel tinged song about the heavenly subjects of arson and drugs.

"When Irish Eyes are Burning" celebrates Ike's Chicago Irish upbringing with absolute carefree abandon with a tune, about, of all things, going to a Violent Femmes show, getting drunk and watching a buddy get into a fist fight with a lesbian named Tank. All the while, The Assassination plays an energetic, bouncy type of music that fits perfectly with the action of the story. "Valentine's Day In Juarez" plays like an updated version of Dylan's " Rainy Day Women 12 and 35" complete with harmonica, stoned-out slow tempo and a list of all the good drugs to do and the interesting ways to spend a holiday in Mexico.

Ike Reilly is a storyteller of the highest degree; he touches on all the highest highs and lowest lows that come with life. He tells the truth even when the truth hurts. Reilly knows that being alive means feeling pain, loss and rejection and in the spirit of punk rock, he's not afraid to throw it in your face. We Belong To The Staggering Evening is a totally American album; Ike and the boys mix elements of Johnny Cash style country with jazz, blues, soul, gospel and rock to make a music that is as blue-collar, if not more so, than that of Springsteen. The Assassination brings accessibility to rock and roll that unfortunately has been gone from the genre for too long. Ike, Dave Cottini (drums), Tommy O'Donnell (bass), Phil Karnats (guitar) and Ed Tinley (piano) are honest men in a world of hypocrites… thank God there's a few of those left.

-Danny R. Phillips

Track Listing:
1. 8 More Days Till The 4th of July
2. When Irish Eyes Are Burning
3. Valentine's Day in Juarez
4. Fish Plant Uprising
5. I Hear The Train
6. Broken Parakeet Blues
7. It's Hard To Make Love
8. Let's Get Friendly
9. You're So Plain
10. Charcoal Days and Sterling Nights
11. Bugsy Salcido Has Fled The Desert
12. The Nighttime Is A Liar

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