The Cairo Gang produce happy jangle-pop, main gang-member Emmett Kelly’s voice immediately recalling earlier days: the likes of Orange Juice come to mind. Goes Missing sends a strong set of songs flowing out into the world, sunny and harmonically rich. Out on the really quite brilliantly named God? label.
Vinyl LP £16.99 GOD011
LP on God?.
CD £14.49 GOD011CD
CD on God?.
Here God? live up to the question mark in their name by throwing a curveball in the form of a jangle pop record. The label’s infatuation with psych and lo-fi bedroom muk is halted for the Cairo Gang’s ‘Goes Missing’, which sounds like an attempt at making an inter-generational guitar pop classic; shades of the Beatles, Guided by Voices, Dick Diver and Orange Juice show, and it becomes clear that the Cairo Gang believe the sweetest, oldest pop songs can sound new again. They actually do.
Let’s count up the positives: the Cairo Gang are first and foremost exceedingly good at what I’m sure Dave Grohl would call riffology. They swarm their songs with strong melodies that sound like they’re peaking out from behind their song, between the even strums come motifs that sound either shot through the ‘70s or pining for ‘90s slacker rock. Cairo Gang are romanticists, but their nostalgia is distorted by a modern lens, the Sound Of The Sixties harmonies upended with occasional drum machines and uneven production.
Where a lot of indie rock bands find them throwing back to their influences to compensate for a lack of substance, there’s a tenderness to the Cairo Gang’s music that feels inherent to them: whatever they listened to back in the day, I like to think they’d land on the same love songs with the same melodic throughlines. But… yeah: if you like the Beatles, GbV, and fuck, on the basis of “A Heart Like Yours”, if you like Tom Petty, then you will love ‘Goes Missing’.
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