Album Review: Tacocat – This mess is a place

It’s been a long journey since Tacocat started out way back in 2007. They’ve always been pruveyors of bubblegum garage/grunge rock, with – in the past oddball, funny, and feminist lyrics sprinkled over the top like hundreds and thousands. With their fourth album, and first on legendary label Sub Pop, they might have found that converging point between fun, thoughtfulness and melody to make their best record yet.

Lyrically, the feminism is still there, as is the humour, but in a world changed since the election of Trump, the band have added a liberal dose of the self concious and the politically savvy, swapping them up with tracks like New World and the title track both focusing on hope and hope for the future, while Hologram and Rose Coloured sky both tackle the political climate. And, there’s also pets (Little friend) and humour (The Joke of Life).

Musically, Tacocat have tightened up, their songwriting clever and clear and riffs and harmonies not wasted anywhere. Like the Bangles, or (to an extent) The Donnas, Tacocat mix up power pop stylings with a little bit of fuzz here, and some strained guitar licks there, figuring with all that west coast harmony thats going on, who could fail to love it. For a large majority of the record, they’d be absolutely right.

When they get it right, it’s nigh on perfect. Both the Joke of life and Rose Coloured Sky have that extra sparkle and fuzz. The smart lyrics make the tracks stand out anyway, but throw in just about the most lip-smacking, lovable chorus’ committed to the Sub Pop canon. But melody and riffs is something Tacocat do well, as it bounds and bounces along, along really slowing down as the record comes to a close, closer Miles and Miles sounding like something Lee Mavers would have written. Or might still. It’s a fitting end.


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