Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Mika Miko 'We Be Xuxa'

I was right. Mika Miko and No Age sitting in a tree, et cetera. Proof is two Randy Randall produced tracks on the latest and most polished from Mika Miko. To say they were the strongest tracks on the album, 'We Be Xuxa', would be a) unfair and b) untrue. 'Sex Jazz' and 'Keep On Calling' carries No Age, New York no-wave, new-wave out the end of an album that has many strengths.

I hoped not to mention the Ramones or post-punk in this review, but quite blatantly have. Thing is they do sound that way and are honest about it. Throwing Ramones covers into live sets and reaching deep into the post-punk bassline sack for tracks 'Totion' and 'I Got A Lot (New New New)' is a pretty obvious call out. 'We Be Xuxa' is, in actual fact, a great gateway album to old bands - The Gun Club, James Chance and the Contortions, The Ramones, The Au-Pairs, The Bloods and numerous other bands you can find on Rough Trade's Post Punk Volume 1.

The barking between the two distinct vocalists is alluring, Jennifer sometimes sounding like she has a singer trapped inside a hardcore punk while Jenna keeps her cold shouldered vocal chipping away. Musically the guitar throughout invokes jealousy in the same way as The Slits claiming they had no musical ability (the only mention of them by the way) with naive riffs and scales. Jennifer and Michelle chop and change guitar responsiblity live and the same occurs on the album. Massive credit has to go to Seth and Jessica, drums and bass respectively, who lavish the album with popping basslines and frenetic rhythms that lock the chaotic mix of styles into something somewhat danceable and the reason post-punk will continue to crop up, whenever they are brought up.

I'm toying with a simile to sum up the album, but it's gross. Something around the notion that this is a quickly executed album that doesn't necessarily look pretty (in an visualization of the sound kind of a way, because actually, the album photography is splendid and the typography, while confusing, is entirely beautiful), but in the moment is so completely satisfying that you might feel guilty after listening and with consideration know it was somewhat degrading but hope the opportunity will definitely arise to do it again, and soon.

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