So Tacocat is without a doubt the daftest band name I’ve heard in a long time, and it is with some trepidation that I listen to anything labelled as “pop-punk”, but these guys are alright!
I suppose they’ve interpreted the label in a different manner than usual; there isn’t any reckless thrashing about à la Blink 182. They’re more like a snotty post-Mall Rats take on ’80s new wave. So yeah, it’s pop and it’s punk but not in a pin-badged-to-fuck, skateboard trainer, overgrown school kid way. The opener of their album struts about on some nicely flicky chords and the singer, Emily Nokes, easy drawls out words like “pacify”, lending some much needed intellectuality to the oft-derided genre.
Then the listeners are treated to a slice of tribal CBGB gang vocals on FDP. Don’t fuck with me! Yeahhhhhh! This is anthemic, nihilistic riot grrl stuff set to a mosh-worthy drum beat if ever there was one. I’m down with this crowd man, it’s cheek-tonguing good time sneer music; how can you not get down with a band that have a song called I Hate The Weekend? On which the band talk about the stupidity of weekend drink culture; “At the end of every week, They butt into our streets, Homogenised and all so bleak”. Music needs this stuff; there’s not enough prolific fem-stars that embody this kind of intelli-rebellion.
You Can’t Fire Me, I Quit is pure Cribs-style chord pranging and I can imagine a crowd taking to this with eager handclaps before jamming out to that luuuuurvely guitar solo. The guitarist is the only guy in this outfit and he does a good job of knocking out some solid stuff but not being too brazen about it; the melody’s held but not overly embellished, so the tunes keep an immediacy that’s largely falling out of fashion nowadays.
The bass player shows her skill too here; not taking up too much speaker estate, but locking in with them cracks and splashes neatly; she can lay claim to possibly my favourite bit on this album. There’s a wicked moment on Plan A Plan B where they come out of the chorus into a menacing ascension up the neck of the bass guitar and it’s all so dangerous and oooooohhh.
Another contender for top sparkly glistening wowzer moment of the LP has to be the stodgy blues-rock opening to Horse Grrls; “They know the different breeds, Of all their favourite steeds”. Proper sarky, dark, disdainful, it fades out on a diminishing stomp, not to be forgotten in a hurry.
Album closer, Leisure Bees delves more into post-Britpop guitar sounds. It’s got a crackly DIY edge to the rhythm guitar that underscores a lively Johnny Marr riff that I’m certain has the capacity to give you a sun tan, such is its brightness and warmth. The feline burritos bow out on a high here, and I gotta say, this is one of those times when you’ve just got to let curiosity get the better of you, so let’s go drink snake-bites and make a pit already yeahuhh?!
Lost Time is out on April 1 via Hardly Arts Records. Tacocat come to Brighton to play Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar on May 6, keep your eyes peeled for ticket info.
By Adam Morrison