The Cairo Gang is the songwriting outlet for musician Emmett Kelly from Los Angeles. Throughout its recorded career, The Cairo Gang has appeared live in various formats, including combinations of the massive creative well of the Chicago improvised scene, plus a two-plus years run as the band backing Bonnie “Prince” Billy. Since about 2012, it has made itself known mostly in the basements of Chicago and the greater Midwestern United States as a loud and raw, rock and roll band featuring Kelly’s chiming electric 12-string, the sledgehammer drums of Marc Riordan, Ryan Weinstein’s frenzied bass-lines, and gorgeous harmonic vocal and instrumental accomaniment of Sam Wagster and Gillian Lisee.
Arriving two years after 2015’s ‘Goes Missing’ the ‘Untouchable’ is another strong record that feels like a classic. The songs possess a vintage rock charm recalling Velvet Underground among others. And the album delivers undeniable, fantastic songs that will instantly capture your heart. ‘Goes Missing’ sang to the listener of dreamy isolation through a disembodied production; parts assembled from different moments, times and places and woven mechanical into an irresistible pop whole. ‘Untouchable’ rewires the machine, spinning tales of dissolution from a shared space on the way to new hope.
The label release describes the album as “Cut live and immediate with shimmering waves of quicksilver guitar, telepathic harmony voices and scraps of yesterday’s rhythm and produced glisteningly by Kelly and Ty Segall, ‘Untouchable’ exemplifies the joy of science and the search for knowing: a tesseract-like bridging of musical and emotional dimensions that has formed the crux of so many essential musical admissions from the past half-century. The shadows of the rock and roll era are cast long across the face of ‘Untouchable’ - from the majesty of the soloing on ‘That’s When It’s Over’ to the twinned leads, ascending arpeggios and Petty-esque sardonicisms of the closer, ‘What Can You Do?’”