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Mika Miko - C.Y.S.L.A.B.F. (Cover Artwork)

Mika Miko

Mika Miko: C.Y.S.L.A.B.F.C.Y.S.L.A.B.F. (2006)
Kill Rock Stars

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:


Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Everyone has that one friend that they didn't even like at first. You know, the one friend you have that annoyed the living hell out of you the first time you met them. Eventually, you warmed up to this person, found their better qualities and realized, "eh, he/she's not so bad." Mika Miko is tha.
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Everyone has that one friend that they didn't even like at first. You know, the one friend you have that annoyed the living hell out of you the first time you met them. Eventually, you warmed up to this person, found their better qualities and realized, "eh, he/she's not so bad."

Mika Miko is that friend.

This friend, though, is one that takes a lot longer to warm up to than most. And even now, I'm not completely sold on the positive qualities of C.Y.S.L.A.B.F..

The album does share quite a few similarities with that friend of yours. First and foremost, Mika Miko are very loud, and very abrasive. Admittedly, this is a road block some people may not allow themselves to pass at all. It's because they're not abrasive in the extremely loud music sense of the word, but just in the qualities, or as some might contest, lack thereof in vocalist Jennifer Clavin. Her chirpy, almost tone-deaf snarl and delivery make it a chore to really breach the wall that it puts up. I was definitely put off by the vocals the first time I heard them, and it's taken a lot of patience to really let things sink in and be enjoyable.

The roots of this album are firmly entrenched in the raw and gritty punk of the `80s. The swirling dissonance and never-ending buzz of the guitars keep the rhythms interesting and the songs fast. The jangly progressions in "See You There" actually suit the vocals quite well, and that's what's necessary to defer the annoyance that a lot of people would be feeling otherwise. Also helping to quell the possibly problematic vocals is the fact that most songs are no more than a minute-and-a-half in length. That kind of brevity suits not only the singing, but the songs and album as a whole.

Of course, the ultimate goal is to actually come to understanding and enjoyment of the vocals, just as I'm sure you have that loud and abrasive friend that you at first wanted to have nothing to do with. It takes some time, it takes some patience, but with all the punk rock goodness that's brewing underneath -- the rewards are aplenty.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anchors (December 4, 2006)

"I've seen this band.. I suggest everyone take the chance to see them for a good laugh. The music isn't my thing, and the review sounds fairly accurate. But seeing 4 really unattractive girls with the worst thrift store outfits gyrate and shake like a pentacostal church member while screaming into a phone-turned-microphone is something that must be seen to be appreciated. First time in a while I was really bummed I didn't carry a video camera around."

That is about exactly what I'd expect after hearing this.

Anonymous (December 4, 2006)

I've seen this band.. I suggest everyone take the chance to see them for a good laugh. The music isn't my thing, and the review sounds fairly accurate. But seeing 4 really unattractive girls with the worst thrift store outfits gyrate and shake like a pentacostal church member while screaming into a phone-turned-microphone is something that must be seen to be appreciated. First time in a while I was really bummed I didn't carry a video camera around.

Ianw (December 3, 2006)

This record is gnarly. Great for booty shakeing.
Not very loud though or abrasive though. I don't know what that is about.

Anonymous (December 2, 2006)

this band fucking sucks. no talent. they put on a shitty show and their music makes the germs look good. fuck them.

Anonymous (December 2, 2006)

there WERE some good all-girl bands out there. but you'd have to go all the way back to the Ronettes and the early Supremes and shit like that. hey, they were good enough for Joey Ramone to emulate (going so far as to do a duet with Ronnie Spector)

feeeding5000 (December 1, 2006)

And being tone-deaf is awesome. You start to lose an appreciation for "less-than-professional" music after listening to nothing but overproduced, pro-tooled, melodicore and pop-punk.

feeeding5000 (December 1, 2006)

Good, but not as great as MRR wants you to think. I think that, by their next release, they could be very good. What happened to all-girl bands that were listenable, anyway? It was like, riot grrl, and then, like, the Donnas. Jesus.

Anonymous (December 1, 2006)

after reading the review i was intrigued enough to go over to their myspace and listen to the sample tracks. after listening to their songs, i can say that mika miko are neither very loud nor very abrasive. at least not on record. they just sound like another lo-fi garage band that sounds like they recorded their songs in a bathroom to me.

Anonymous (December 1, 2006)

Here's the thing with me: I love annoying late 70's/early 80's LA punk. But this band just doesn't make catchy songs like those bands. The chord progressions aren't raunchy or dangerous, it's all very bland. And just because it's underproduced and minimalist, we're supposed to believe it's a throwback to 70's punk or something.

That said, their live show is better than this record. This record, which I sold on eBay a week ago. :)

-William Marinovic

skankin_in_the_pit (December 1, 2006)

I thought they were awesome live, but I can't really get into this album. My roommate has had it in constant rotation for a while though.

Anonymous (December 1, 2006)

"The roots of this album are firmly entrenched in the raw and gritty punk of the `80s. The swirling dissonance and never-ending buzz of the guitars keep the rhythms interesting and the songs fast. The jangly progressions in “See You There” actually suit the vocals quite well, and that’s what’s necessary to defer the annoyance that a lot of people would be feeling otherwise. Also helping to quell the possibly problematic vocals is the fact that most songs are no more than a minute-and-a-half in length. That kind of brevity suits not only the singing, but the songs and album as a whole."

in response to the dumbass comment below me

strangenotes (December 1, 2006)

"First and foremost, Mika Miko are very loud, and very abrasive. Admittedly, this is a road block some people may not allow themselves to pass at all."

So fucking ridiculous. The review doesn't even say what they sound like!

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