Tacocat - Lost Time
Seattle pop punk band Tacocat dismiss the concept of identifiable girl bands to discuss feminism’s role from a gender neutral standpoint. But wait, they intend to show us this not only can be, but should be, a whole lot of fun. The four best friends return with their third album Lost Time, producer Erik Blood adding some curled upper lip but retaining the broad smile of Emily Nokes’ vocals and the band’s music.
"Earthquake, Tsunami, There's still no place I'd rather be" describes hometown love in ‘I Love Seattle’ which, like much of the album, fluctuates between this city’s grungy, and melodic jangly guitars. Seattle sounds as sunny as The Bangles’ Los Angeles, but clouds return in ‘Plan A, Plan B’ as we shift to London, the fast tempo and accusatory verse ape Elastica at their best; remember Justine Frischmann at her best also had a telling curled upper lip. The level headed ‘Dana Katherine Scully’ is a role model as "She wants to know what's out there / But she needs to know why", a pop culture reference correcting the assumption she, like feminism, is a killjoy (Fox William Mulder’s such a laugh a minute).
The social commentary deepens with ‘You Can’t Fire Me, I Quit’ and its tongue-in-cheek but liberating sarcasm of "You're not breaking up with me / I'm breaking up with you, actually" fights back at the vulnerability of making the best of a bad situation with laser guided dry wit. The outlook broadens outside relationships as the snarky ‘The Internet’ and ‘Men Explain Things to Me’ describe the non-reciprocal nature of gendered online conversations. The lyrics bare a middle finger but the eyes have a telling glint – their targets’ problem is taking themselves too seriously after all and this is another great method of fighting back.
‘Horse Girls’ pulls us into a discussion, and is indicative of the album being four best friends talking about stuff. Tacocat giving the aforementioned girl band concept the boot doesn’t mean ‘Leisure Bees’ can’t sound like beautiful 1960s girl band pop, and taken only at face value it’s also a lovely song about bees. Horse girls, bee colonies, who knows where this conversation would take us next?
The bands content can be deadly serious but delivered with a lack of menace; sugary fizzy pop teasingly shook up before being handed over – you’ll get wet, but you’ll probably deserve it. Like the best bands, comparisons are useful for descriptive purposes and little else – their perfected mix of content and delivery is very much their own. Despite the important social commentary it’s not only OK but it’s impossible not to jump around to a joyous indie rock chorus. To reference ‘Night Swimming’: “Stuck at work all day / I want to have some fun.”