Rating: 7 / Format: CD/LP / Label: Post Present Medium
Mika Miko gave strong showings on their debut album C.Y.S.L.A.B.F. and follow-up EP 666, cementing their rep with some fearsomely energetic live shows. The group’s noisy brand of So-Cal punk, anchored by Jennifer Clavin and Jenna Thornhill’s call-and-response shoutfests, is most compelling witnessed in person, ecstatically ping-ponging off other sweaty fans in a seething circle pit.
So it’s smart of Mika Miko to forgo the Sisyphean task of trying to replicate their live sound on their new album, and make no mistake, We Be Xuxa is strongest when the band push beyond the comforts of the tried-and-true and instead rip through dizzying new punk permutations. While a few cuts recall the full-on squall of previous releases, overall the noise factor is toned down, and several of the album’s stand-out tracks display a newfound funkiness – especially the deranged sax-backed no wave of ‘Sex Jazz’. Meanwhile ‘Totion”s gritty, echoing surf guitar harks back to the B-52s, with vocals reminiscent of the stripped-down sing-song of 90s Bratmobile.