About Ike Reilly Assassination
“We Belong To The Staggering Evening” is the natural yet alarming evolution for Reilly and his band. Sounding furious and maniacal and on top of the world at the outset, “The Staggering Evening” is performed with something to prove and nothing to lose. Handclaps and tambourines, the call-and-response, twisted-gospel vocals, and driving NYC-underground guitars are all part of Reilly’s American portrayal of rock ‘n’ roll in this lost new era.
Produced by Reilly, “The Staggering Evening” is an album that should be blasted on a hectic Friday night from jukeboxes in bars that haven’t banned smoking, from college dorm rooms, from economy cars in shit traffic, and stuck in the ears of iPod-listening subway riders. It’s a “Cops” episode; it’s Lenny Bruce after being the celebrity judge on “American Idol;” it’s a night full of lust and regret, blood and anarchy, and a blind date with the disaffected — a hilarious night that begins with a swill and ends with a tender kiss.
The Ike Reilly Assassination have established themselves as one of the most uncontrived and devastatingly emotional live bands in America; the complex and shifting nature of Reilly’s personae and songs takes the audience on a celebratory and refreshing ride through alleys of friendship, faith, family, sex, death, drugs, rebellion and work. Jim Walsh of City Pages in Minneapolis said that The Ike Reilly Assassination is “reminding us, yet again, of the unique power and glory that is an American band, and at the moment I’d be hard pressed to find one more ferocious…” Reilly’s compelling solo performances are equally intriguing. The leader of the fierce IRA will show up with just an acoustic guitar, performing with Tom Morello at political rallies in Los Angeles or at the birthday party of the great crime writer Elmore Leonard outside of Detroit or in the clubs and pubs in Ireland as an American troubadour. Johnny Hickman of the band Cracker has called Ike “one of the best songwriters in America” and in fact some of Reilly’s anthemic songs are mainstays of the Cracker set.
The monster of a band that is The Ike Reilly Assassination and Reilly’s unique take on America and the American song is what brings us now to “We Belong to The Staggering Evening.” David Carr of the New York Times said, “Ike Reilly saddles up his unparalled muse and one of the best working bands in America and takes us to a new place, again. No one else in America rocks the common man’s experience in such uncommon ways. Modern and ancient, punk and pub, heart-breaking and knife-wielding, Mr. Reilly’s new record [“We Belong To The Staggering Evening”] plays for keeps.”
“The Staggering Evening” is a corroded rock ‘n’ roll record that is dripping soul and energy, but the melody and the imagery is what is the most immediately memorable. Songs you are sure you’ve heard before, but, try as you might, you just don’t remember them having the same subject matter. Songs about suicide girls and broken promises, about the sheen that’s missing on the armor of the American knight, about a girl named Tank who doesn’t take any shit, songs about sex and sex and sex, and in the middle of the hilarity and chaos we find the poignant “Broken Parakeet Blues,” a song about the humanity of the American soldier.
Who belongs to the staggering evening? The band? Ike? You? Us? Most likely everybody. Ike Reilly’s “We Belong To The Staggering Evening” is all-inclusive. Just listen or look inside it and you’ll see someone you know.
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Yonder Moutain String Band welcomed Andrew McConathy of The Drunken Hearts for an old staple cover during their set at Ardmore Music Hall in Pennsylvania.
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