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The Cairo Gang — Goes Missing


Let’s forego the obvious comparisons: Emmett Kelly’s compositions here clearly lean toward all of the obvious “the”s: The Byrds, The Beatles, The Cure. Putting this aside, the songwriter has a clear sense of his own vision on Goes Missing. On this most recent outing with The Cairo Gang, we chart a course for parts both familiar and distant – a landscape where all of the familiar 60s, jangly landscapes are ever present as a distant mirage, a horizon which we lean toward. Still, as Kelley exclaims on the second track, the listener is bound to “find in stranger places.”

When Kelley sings “I’m tired of all the jive / Try not to think of the neighbors” (on “Gangsters Holding Hnads”) it almost seems like a central, thematic cry of Goes Missing. The Cairo Gang calls in all of its expansive thematic influences on this album—the psych folk, the jangle pop, the sound of the mid-’60s British rock invasion—to alchemize something cohesive and yet above all of these singular influences. The result nearly bursts at its seams: songs like “She Don’t Want You” and “Ice Fishing” almost burst within the near-perfect package of their presentation. The songs on Goes Missing elicit some otherworldliness that is instantly recognizable in their ephemeral nature, a comfortable strangeness as in the angular hooks of set closer “So What? Who Cares?” where the twelve-string twang is all 1960s psych & 1980s resignation, and yet completely in the moment in 2015.

With Goes Missing, The Cairo Gang has produced a batch of tunes whose catchiness is incredibly strong, and indeed whose songs could be played anywhere, anytime: its contents could be Top 40 material in 1966, and in 2015 it is nothing less than completely charming and irresistible.

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