Tacocat’s ‘Lost Time’ Reviewed

Tacocat are known as a socially conscious, Riot Grrrl inspired feminist punk band – a description which is, for the most part, quite accurate if not a little condescending.  

In tracks from previous albums, they’ve tackled issues such as getting stared at by creepy guys, snow days, and blossoming into womanhood, and they’ve always done it with a tongue placed firmly in cheek; it’s not that these issues aren’t serious for a lot of people, it’s just that Tacocat make activism fun!

They’ve been quick to draw attention away from a gender divide, with Emily Nokes once joking “Women, they’re just like us!”, but for a lot of people it’s tough to separate the sort of radical, super serious feminism you see on tumblr and the internet at large with bands like Tacocat who address gender issues with a sense of humour.

Opening track ‘Dana Katherine Scully’ is – you guessed it – a playful ode to Gillian Anderson’s character in The X Files, which incidentally is also referenced in the album’s title. No surprises they chose to celebrate a strong female lead character in what’s less of a TV show and more of a pop culture phenomenon.   

‘FDP’ and ‘I Love Seattle’ also reference the group’s interests, namely liberal politics and cold, North Western American cities respectively. It’s fun getting to know the band’s quirks free from the shackles of their own kooky, light hearted take on feminism, and these tracks provide a good balance for when ‘Men Explain Things to Me’ and ‘You Can’t Fire Me, I Quit’ return the band to their seemingly natural state of acerbic, relative gender equality focused rhetoric.

Musically, Lost Time is nothing revolutionary. Four chord-ers and simple guitar solos, basic percussion and unambitious vocals are terms that a more cynical listener would probably use, but really there’s nothing wrong with having a musical style.  

In Tacocat’s case, the end is more important than the means, and even with that being said, the lyrical content isn’t always super serious – there’d be something a little jarring about listening to a song mocking weekend binge drinking culture which was underscored with a string quartet. It just wouldn’t work, and Tacocat’s minimalist, confident surf-punk style fits perfectly with their mostly light-hearted subject matter.  

There are similar bands out there like Potty Mouth who arguably make the better music, but there’s no accounting for taste and Tacocat can certainly hold their own against most other punk bands out there doing a similar job of smashing cymbals and vibrating strings.

Lost Time is a pleasant, accessible, fun-at-times-and-oversimplified-at-others journey into the mind of the average 18-30 year old with a penchant for sci-fi mystery dramas, the Internet and moaning about boys. There’s nothing mystical or pretentious about this record – it’s a day in the life of a young woman in 2016, told through a snappy punk sound that’s hard to shake off. 

 

Rory Allden

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