Americana's newest troubadourThe Ike Reilly Assassination - Junkie Faithful
(Rock Ridge Music)
3 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Dec. 13, 2005
Review by Tony BonyataAs the alt-country movement of the late '90s continues to wane - with innovators such as Wilco jumping headfirst into more experimental pools of cacophonous noise and onetime Whiskeytown frontman Ryan Adams not quite sure from album to album if he really wants to rock hard or fiddle with his acoustic guitar and corncob pipe, a band known as The Ike Reilly Assassination seems as good a candidate as any to carry the torch for folk-tinged rock music.
While there is an underlying sense of Americana folk music (earthy acoustic guitar, harmonica and backwoods accordion) on The Ike Reilly Assassination's third full-length effort, Junkie Faithful, there's also a good measure of quirky pop hooks, biting lyrics and inventive indie-rock arrangements to keep things from getting to sedate on the front-porch rocking chair.
This talented quintet is led by the Libertyville, IL singer, songwriter and guitarist Ike Reilly, who vocally channels early Bob Dylan on the poppy opener "22 Hours of Darkness," the rootsy "Suffer for the Trust" and the sing-a-long worthy "I Will Let You Down." Dylan isn't the influence here, however, as witnessed on the blues-based "Kara Dean," the white-trash rock of "Farm Girl" and the spunky, eccentric pop of "What A Day," which at times mixes in strains of Bruce Springsteen, The Kinks and Beck.
With Reilly's witty lyrics that bite, along with earthier numbers such as the harrowing beauty of "Heroin" and the folk-flavored blues-pop of "Everything is Gonna Be Alright" this modern-day singer/songwriter proves that there's room for at least one more Americana troubadour in the rock world today.
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