Seattle based four-piece Tacocat are one of the prominent punk bands to emerge from the city’s outspoken feminist music scene. The band cut their teeth performing live around Capitol Hill, an area that’s known for its art, counterculture and LGBTQ communities but currently faces re-gentrification. The recently opened bars and the problematic influx of hard-partying crowds they attract are mentioned in ‘I Hate the Weekend’, a song from the quartet’s third album, Lost Time.
The album’s title is a reference to the recently revived paranormal TV series The X-Files, as is (more obviously) the opening track ‘Dana Katherine Scully’, a fangirl ode to an empowering female character. Despite some serious subject matter most of the songs on Lost Time have a feel-good sound, from the infectious Breeders style bubblegum-pop of ‘FDP’, to the harmonic doo-wop of closing track ‘Leisure Bees’. After taking their brand of sugary pop-punk on the road, the band were chosen to write a new theme tune for the upcoming Powerpuff Girls reboot, a testament to the group’s melodic prowess.
Tacocat gained international attention in 2014 following the release of their second album NVM, an abbreviation of nevermind. A cheeky nod to the Seattle grunge scene’s most famous export perhaps, some in the music press have already dubbed Tacocat ‘the Nirvana for the soft-grunge generation’. The lyrics on NVM covered a range of subject matters, from menstruation “Crimson Wave” to the unwanted attentions of the male gaze ‘Hey Girl’.
Lost Time continues this approach with songs about contraception ‘Plan A, Plan B’ and mansplaining ‘Men Explain Things To Me’, delivered in a vocally deadpan style. The album’s only solemn sounding track ‘Talk’, comments on the loneliness of modern communication and contains a murkier guitar sound, similar to the earlier output of The Offspring. The album is not without its lighter song subjects, ‘Horse Grrls’ is simply about girls that love horses, with a drumbeat that switches from a steady canter into a full blown gallop.
The bubblegum pop aspect of Tacocat may separate them from the angrier sounding punk bands in Seattle, but it doesn’t diminish their impact. In fact, they are veterans in the local scene and have influenced a fresh crop of feminist bands, like Mombutt and Lisa Prank. Tacocat’s bassist Bree McKenna, is a member of the more abrasive but equally vocal, Childbirth. Their songs are unabashedly feminist, using humour to deal with a variety of female centric issues.
In a world where the naïve are often overwhelmed by the more politically aware, Tacocat choose to approach their lyrical subjects in a more inclusive manner rather than divide through preaching alone. The band have developed well as songwriters; Lost Time has both the tunes and a crisp production that appeals to an all inclusive and growing audience.
Lost Time will be released via Hardly Art on 1st April.