The Ike Reilly Assassination - Sparkle In The Finish (Cover Artwork)

The Ike Reilly Assassination

Sparkle In The Finish (2004)

Rock Ridge Music

The under appreciated many times has this statement been bandied about in relation to music. The cliché rings true many a time. However, in the punk music world the fans are so rabid that often many bands that don't receive commercial acclaim receive some kind of response, whether it be from fans die-hard in terms of regional or genre-related devotion. Now, I make no claim to be from Chicago or do I particularly feel inclined to make one "type" of music my days and ways. However I was surprised to see that the Ike Reilly Assassination was finally playing in my area to support there new album, "Sparkle in the Finish", at Arlene's Grocery. Now again, I should not make a claim to have been to or know of every club in the Tri-State area, but I know quite a few and never have I heard of Arlene's Grocery. Now, I am sure there might be some that will detract this review immediately for some reason because of this admission, but I don't give a shit. I will know this venue come the 28th of October. [Editor's Note: Review submitted 9-28.]

There is something about Ike Reilly. All of his albums (2001's Salesman And Racists and an EP entitled Cars, And Girls, And Drinks, And Songs) have had an indefinable quality; something that exceeds almost every record in my collection. There seems to be aspects of every CD I own contained in each. I feel Dan Bern in his insightful commentary on society, the MC5 and the Stooges in the music, and the Dwarves, Zeke, and the Supersuckers in his drug and sex soaked lyrics. I feel as if he truly has become for me, the definitive artist of my lifetime up to this point. On his new album I feel the same way that I have listening to any of his that have come before, torn between becoming involved in the tremendous, unabashed rock that comprises most of his songs and hovering over everyone of his words. Even when Riley takes his music down several notches there is always something that is irrepressible, and makes the music seem to feel more full then anything I have ever heard.

Very few artists have transferred the blank verse popularized by so many writers of the 20th century to a musically based endeavor, but Reilly does. His songs are so full, but at the same time bereft of so many things. He leaves out the the things that could be perceived as important but focuses on the crap that truly makes up day to day life, personal trials and worries. Taking the life anyone could lead on any particular day and putting it down in a way that is so original, with music that is so all consuming, that it is simply mind blowing. Taking shit and turning it into gold and honesty. And I guess that is what I'm looking for because shit rarely turns into both.