We Be Xuxa

We Be Xuxa

As an integral part of The Smell scene in L.A. (an all-ages arts and music venue), Mika Miko have steadily grown into an impressive group of musicians imbued with the spirit of early ‘80s punk and post-punk. Sounding on earlier outings like a mosh pit about to implode, they’ve honed their fury to a sharper, more focused sound, where angles intersect smoothly (but with maximum impact) and breathing space helps chaos become energy. Punk grrl vocals are shouted back and forth, while guitars and saxophones scrape and bleat and stop on a dime, and the drums and bass keep a tight-knit, punchy bottom. Recalling prototype bands such as Essential Logic and the Raincoats, We Be Xuxa clearly shows the band moving forward even as they playfully toy with vintage sounds. The see-saw rhythm and echo-drenched “Totion” recalls England’s Slits, while tracks like “Sex Jazz” and “Keep on Calling” are redolent of the darkly sensuous No Wave sounds of New York in the late ‘70s.  But it’s not all nostalgic tacking: there’s plenty of original, passionate sturm und drang here and even a bit of humor, as served up on the wry “Turkey Sandwich.”

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