Three fourths of the way down Tacocat’s Rookie interview, guitarists Eric says what I’ve known is #tru for years: ” the most frivolous genre out there is Boring Dude Rock”
Boring dude rock this is not. The palindrome loving Tacocat plays a sunny pop-punk in the vein of bands like Best Coast, but with less heartbreak and more political snark. Their new single “Crimson Wave” is the kind of song that would be a surprise Top 10 hit if feminism had really had it’s way with america. As noted in this write up by Vice their politics are tempered by their sense of fun. “Crimson Wave” is political in the way that it breaks the cultural taboo of women talking about their periods, with lyrics that prompt laughter before all the females in the room cry out “SAME”. The sunshine vibes of the song go a long way toward making the plight of periods less of an hush hush issue.
The key to the bands accessibility is undoubtedly lead singer Emily Nokes, whose voice skewers everyone from faux anarchists who are hipster trust fund babies irl (“This Is Anarchy”) to construction workers who cat-call the band as they walk by (“Hey Girl”). The profane ridicule is balanced by the uplifting guitar and melodies, leaving the songs about political messages sounding identical to straight forward beach jams (“Bridge to Hawaii”).
This positivity means that Tacocat isn’t a band out for confrontation like Bikini Kill. Instead, the songs funciton as a feminist inside joke to play at parties. While some my value the more aggressive approach, arguing that Tacocat isn’t going to change anything if no one realizes what they are saying, the plur energy of the songs gives them the ability to sneak into douchy bros ears and hard drives undetected. Once there, the songs lyrics will become clear after repeat listens, and then we have some conflicted bros who like Tacocat (becuase who wouldn’t) and now have to accept the band’s feminist politics.
Those poltics come with sensibility that may seem recognizable to many who read both my blog and about punk music on the internet in general. It’s all about pastel-collered teen 90s nostalgia, served up with a side of Mary Jane and Feminism. Don’t mistake them for trend jumpers though. They’ve been deep in the feminist alt punk scene since 2008 (checkout the Vivian Girls giving them a shoutout). Thier sound hasn’t changed much either, check out thier 2012 EP Take Me To Your Dealer and 2008’s single La La Leotard. The band adds some horns to spice up songs like the questionable Psychedelic Quinceaneria, but in genral stick to the if-it’s-not-broke-don’t-fix-it state of mind.
Basically this album is a great to stream with your feminist friends during the light of spring, or you could buy it via Hardly Art and enjoy the pink vnyl version.
and can this band get a Tacobell commercial already? It’s seriously meant to be.