Album Reviews

Mika Miko – We Be Xuxa

(Post Present Medium) UK release date: 4 May 2009

Titled after a Brazilian media phenomenon, We Be Xuxa is the second full length release from LA garage punk rock outfit Mika Miko. Well, full length by their standards perhaps, but at just 22 minutes, it whizzes by without a moment’s let up from its manic pace.

Perhaps due to the standard form of all of the two-minute songs, they kind of blend into each other and before you know it the album’s finished. However the likes of Turkey Sandwich with its ridiculous vocal stylings and unfortunate lyrics remain lodged in the brain. Most of the other tracks stick to the same late ’70s formula, although horn appearances on Sex Jazz and Keep On Calling mix things up a little.

By employing Seth Densham on drums they’ve made things slightly harder for your average music writer by losing the “all-female” tag and lost out on gender politics points in the process. Which is a good thing for them as it’s too easy to compartmentalise girl punk bands and without that tag they can now court the perception of just being a punk rock band. But the vocals remain a trade-off between Jennifer Clavin and Jenna Thornhill, and they work pretty well on that basis as the two bellow at each other. Lyrically, they’re just words. It really doesn’t matter what’s being said and that’s probably just as well.

The band know what they are and what their purpose is and don’t take themselves too seriously. They stick to a simple formula of straightforward tunes with forceful basslines and basic riffs. Backed with low production values and anti-vocals it’s all geared towards the moshpit.

Because ultimately Mika Miko are a band with a great reputation for their live gigs and that’s where this music really makes sense. On record it’s just a little flat because it’s all about energy and despite occasional flourishes, the songs are a bit underwhelming.

At the same time, having and knowing these tracks is only going to add to the gig experience. It’s clear that the band have tightened up and worked hard on following up their 2006 album C.Y.S.L.A.B.F so use the album as a research tool ahead of this band’s welcome presence on the live circuit scene.

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Mika Miko – We Be Xuxa