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Review: Cairo Gang’s Goes Missing Full of Dark, Jaunty Summer Jams

The indie-rock band’s latest record combines hippie flair with some truly dark lyrics.

If Emmett Kelly, the Cairo Gang’s frontman, was trying out his hippie flair on the indie-rock band’s last record, 2013’s Tiny Rebels, he’s gone full-on Hair now. The band’s fifth LP, Goes Missing (June 23, Drag City), finds the singer surrounding himself with every 1960s tic (three-part ooh-aahs, jangly 12-string) broached on Rebels, this time with a heaping of Cairo Gang moroseness. Kelly’s pitch-black lyrics (“I saw you once throw yourself down some stairs / just to avoid simply going downtown”) darken otherwise jaunty summer jams and render tales of urban lovelessness downright funny. The effect is that of a gothic Roger McGuinn, and it’s a potent if roundabout way to give listeners a scare—Kelly’s chief aim since starting the band in 2006.

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