Album review: The Cairo Gang – Tiny Rebels

The Cairo Gang - Tiny Rebels

The Cairo Gang - Tiny Rebels - Credit: Archant

This mini-album evokes a curiously attractive boiler-room heat, ripe for summer listening.

Recorded in a week, this six-track burst of condensed, vintage heat feels perfect for the current uncomfortably stuffy weather.

The third album from the Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy collaborators, it could have been unscrewed from a ‘70s time capsule buried in a desert.

It opens with the title track’s grand, perambulatory chord progression that’s compressed with drum and double-tracked voal harmony in a way that instantly evokes a sticky, Indian heat, frontman Emmett Kelly singing about “tiny rebels with makeshift loyalties”.

It’s a signpost for what follows – full of reverb, every instrument fighting for space in a muggy vaccuum that’s more appealing than it has any right to be.


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Take Your Time‘s jangly 12-string guitars duel and intertwine, backed by tambourine and driving home an Eastern, late-Beatles flavour, while Shivers is softly narcotised, sunburnt bliss.

And so it continues, the forthright lyrics of the otherwise straightforward Shake Off a rare concession to contemporary tastes.

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Muggy, fuzzy, summertime fun.

3 stars

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