A seemingly permanent fixture on every “best band you’re still not listening to” for far too long, Seattle’s TacocaT have spent the last six years easing their way into the upper echelons of fourth-wave feminist punk. And it’s time to get with the program, people.
The quartet’s third album Lost Time picks up where their fearless and pro-menstrual cycle sophomore effort left off, doubling down on the pop riffs and gender inequality-smashing sentiments. Strong female characters, a media-driven feminist obsession if there ever was one, are a constant. Playful album opener “Dana Katherine Scully” is a love song addressed to the no-nonsense detective on The X-Files. Scully ultimately pales in comparison to the unapologetic waitress narrating the raucously fun “I Hate The Weekend,” lacerating her drunk customers with killer couplets (“Got a hall pass from your job / Just to act like a fuckin’ slob”).
But it’s not all fun, games and openly mocking men’s rights activists. Standout “Talk” bemoans the lost art of being anything besides glued to a cell phone. For all the discussion of internet feminism (#feminism?) accompanying TacocaT’s music, frontwoman Bree McKenna’s sharp lyrics about living in analog serve as a grounding point among the hype. Credit where it’s due, however, since bassist Eric Randall and drummer Lelah Maupin’s brutal rhythm make “Talk” spit fire.
But wait, there’s more! Mansplaining (“Men Explain Things To Me”)! A love of equestrian sports (“Horse Grrls”)! The morning after pill (“Plan A, Plan B”)! Being generally pissed off and/or exhausted (“FDP”)! TacocaT spiral across topics with dizzying speed, most of them tailor-made for a “YAS QUEEN” from Jezebel or a spot on the Broad City soundtrack. Obvious embraces of feminism are becoming less rare in music, and TacocaT prompt a few responses a la “Alright, already,” around the two-thirds mark.
But TacocaT have their glittery fingernails on the pulse of modern young adulthood, and it shows. In addition to being the best song on the record and the best song about their city in recent memory, “I Love Seattle” zeroes in on that shrugging existential acceptance – a.k.a. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ – that constitutes the Millennial mindset. “Did you hear that the world is ending? / Yeah, yeah, we already know,” sings McKenna over frantic pop punk guitars. (Extra west coast points for incorporating the lyric “Where would you want to be when the fault line goes?” – a question everyone hanging out to the right of the Cascadia or on either side of the San Andreas has asked their friends.)
Left to a less wry lyricist or a longer run time – few songs stretch beyond two minutes – Lost Time would stumble over its own hyper-relevant material. TacocaT, however, remain fixed in their light and kitsch approach, less interested in solving the world’s problems they mention than having a laugh over them. The record’s winking approach to its subjects fosters a friendly feminism that feels urgent amidst its overarching movement’s propensity for self-seriousness. There are worse things than a little more “YAS QUEEN” in the world.