Written by Joe Mitchell, April 8, 2016, at 5:15 p.m.
Hardly Art Records
If you’d told me last week that Seattle’s Tacocat would release an album of fiery punk on par with The Clash’s London Calling, The Jam’s Setting Sons, the Minutemen’s Double Nickels on a Dime, or the mighty Zen Arcade by Husker Du, I would have laughed right in your face. In fact, I may have farted in it.
“What? Tacocat?” I would have retched, trying with all my might not to shart, “The band that gave us ‘Bridge to Hawaii‘ and ‘Crimson Wave‘? Sure, those are catchy tsunami surf party tunes and last year’s NVM was good clean fun and all, but The Jam? The Clash? Husker Du? No fucking way. B-52s…maybe on a good day.
“Ya know, ‘Dance This Mess Around,’ and let’s all have a good time before we go back to our jobs at Starbucks, or some other coffee shop. Or painting birds on shit to sell to tourists (oh, sorry, that’s Portland) the next day, or Monday, or whenever, and start the whole production/consumption cycle all over again, and our lives grind on until the next Tacocat gig.
“Really, man, if Emily Nokes were any perkier, I’d need a fucking Percodan, or two, or three…. Oh fuck, just give me the whole fucking bottle and let me puke. Sure, sure… Nokes is a solid songwriter, has a helluva voice, and a deadly stage presence.
“And all the other members of Tacocat, especially Bree McKenna who may well be the Millennial Kim Gordon (sorry, I have a massive soft spot for McKenna’s other band, Childbirth), are nothing to sneeze at, but man, they’re a fucking cartoon – pretty much literally. Have you seen the ‘Bridge to Hawaii’ vid? It’s a cartoon, or at least ‘cartoonish.’ Geez, those neon rainbow hairdos on Nokes and drummer Lelah Maupin are, well, a fucking cartoon.
“And of course they’d do the new Powerpuff Girls theme song, because, well, it’s a goddamn cartoon,” and I could go on and on ad infinitum, res ipsa loquitor, and all that other shit and basically be a mean FDP and overall asshole, and plead, “Hey, man, cartoons have their place!” when I’m just being dismissive.
But this is this week, Lost Time was released April 1, 2016, and goddamnit if Tacocat aren’t at the forefront of the biggest punk revolution since the Sex Pistols played Manchester in late Spring 1976 or Generation X upended Rush at the end of SLC Punk. This ain’t no party and it sure as fuck ain’t no disco or foolin’ around. Tacocat are screaming truth to power, wrestling it to the ground and pulling zero punches once they’ve got it there.
Don’t let that happy -shiny-people-dance beat fool you. Tacocat are out for blood and it may be yours if you fill the streets of Capitol Hill with your drunken unruly self on the weekend, write or take as gospel truth a certain New Yorker article about the impending Emerald City apocalypse, troll women on the internet with sexist vitriol, or think you can mansplain your way through a date.
Fuck that. Tacocat ain’t having any of your shit and and even if you merely think night swimming is for losers. You’re smarter than X-files heroine Dana Katherine Scully or plan B is a poor form of birth control. You’d better get the hell outta the way because Tacocat will flatten your dumb white dick-swinging privileged gentrifying brogrammer ass like the fucking steam roller they’ve become.
My ass is so fucking kicked on so many levels by this album that I’m gonna need a week off after this review.
Tacocat have evolved eons in less than a year. The cartoon has morphed into a stream of consciousness tract for a new America, if not a whole new world. How’s that for revolutionary? But they’re more than just Bernie Man Festival Quasi-Socialists (oh yeah, what other band can say they opened for Bernie Sanders in front of 15,000-plus at a baseball stadium?). They’re not just looking for the salve of $15/hour, more government spending on social services, higher taxes on the rich, or some other minor adjustment to make us all feel better and sing “Kumba-Fucking-Ya” as hundred dollar bills fall from the sky.
They’re ready to scorch the whole fucking socio-economic order and replace it with an economically sacred Punktocracy. Keynes, Galbraith, Hayek, Greenspan, Bernanke – fuck them all. Bring on Charles Eisenstein. Put negative interest in place, make money a means of socially beneficial exchange rather than exploitation and wealth hoarding, degrowth the whole system, and let’s all start living again. And while we’re at it, let’s decorate the whole world with the meanest, most scathing rainbows, cross-stitch, and needlepoint to emerge from the hands of man.
Oh! Tacocat! I so underestimated you!
Who knew a rock band from Seattle could be the harbinger of a beautiful world order?
I’m no longer incredulous of Tacocat’s powers, but my intestinal reaction is of no less magnitude.
Excuse me while I go pay penance to the gods of punk and wash out my boxers, all the while gladly losing time listening to Lost Time. I’ll be dreaming of world where art is power, healthy forests back negative interest currency, former Wall Street bankers wear clown suits to work as human pollinators, the middle and working class are as strong as ever, Bernie Sanders is President, Charles Eisenstein is his Chief Economic Advisor, and all those things that could be… If only…everyone would just shut up and listen to Tacocat.