Tacocat Returns with Lost Time

(Image Credit: BrooklynVegan)

Within a minute of Lost Time’s opener “Dana Katherine Scully,” it’s clear that Seattle-based candy-coated punk/pop/surf feminists Tacocat are doubling down on the most infectious elements of their sound. On their last full-length, 2014’s NVM, Tacocat developed their compelling craft of tackling often-unaddressed and/or feminist topics with sugary pop melodies and distorted surf guitars on cuts like the phenomenally period-positive surf rock party of “Crimson Wave.”

On tracks like the weekend-as-bourgeoisie-BS anthem “I Hate the Weekend,” the bubbly attack on mansplaining “Men Explain Things to Me,” and the summery condemnation of faceless and casual online cruelty of “The Internet,” Tacocat certainly continues the trend, with singer Emily Nokes’ lyrics as biting and witty as ever.

A welcome change, however, on Lost Time is a sonic upgrade courtesy of producer Erik Blood. Blood may seem at first glance a very strange choice of producer, given that his last major production credit on an album was on experimental hip-hop group Shabazz Palaces’ 2014 LP Lese Majesty, but his presence on Tacocat’s latest turns out to be a great addition. And it’s not even like Tacocat has gone hip-hop or anything – in fact, the results of Blood’s inclusion are pretty subtle. Compared to the production of NVM, Lost Time has a more layered, spacious sound. The instruments pop a little more individually and the mix is filled out with a touch of tasteful surf-y reverb that lends Lost Time an overall more open, even propulsive sound.

The songwriting, too, seems just slightly stronger than on NVM, especially in the realm of hooks. Every song here, from the shout-along chorus of “FDP” to the almost chant-like melodies of “Talk” has an immediate earworm of a hook, and there honestly isn’t a weak track in the bunch.

As a whole, Tacocat has put out another addictive slab of feminist punk-pop summer fun, with just enough sonic and musical progression to make it stand apart from their previous efforts and point toward a hopeful future for the band. Tacocat is coming to The End on Thursday, April 21st.