We Be Xuxa •••½
Post Present Medium
Of all the bands to come out of the Los Angeles punk scene in the latter part of the decade, Mika Miko has always been the most likely to make a commercial breakthrough outside of their underage college dive bar following. The mostly female quintet’s second album proper is the imaginatively titled We Be Xuxa, rumoured but by no means confirmed to be named after Brazil’s foremost children’s musical entertainer, has been released to coincide with their biggest run of UK live shows to date and has all the hallmarks of a standard early punk release – a dozen tracks, most around two minutes in length (some don’t even make it that far), with a dense guitar and drum sound that makes the lyrics barely audible. It has all the polish of an album that was recorded live in one take but is actually the cleanest sounding of their ten releases to date, and therein lies part of its problem. Mika Miko aren’t the first band to suffer the fate of being unable to transfer their live sound onto a tangible record without compromising their basic selling point, the energy of their performance.