Seattle’s musical lineage stretches back decades, far beyond a certain three-piece whose music and lifestyle put the city’s re-emerging scene back on the map. So it shouldn’t comes as too much of a surprise that production line of greatness hasn’t stopped producing great music.
Tacocat immediately fall into that category. Having formed back in 2007 through mutual friends and acquaintances, the four-piece – that’s Emily Nokes (vocals), Eric Randall (guitar), Bree McKenna (bass) and Lelah Maupin (drums) – bonded over a combined love of early nineties post punk and feminist politics. Their journey since has seen them release a stream of critically acclaimed singles, EPs and albums culminating in 2016’s third long player, Lost Time. You might have heard the single ‘Talk’ or nascent call to arms ‘I Hate The Weekend’ off that record. If you haven’t I’d implore you check it out.
Fast forward to 2019 and This Mess Is A Place is another case of business as usual. Except this time the world looks set to finally catch up with Tacocat. Now signed to Sub Pop, this first release on Seattle’s most renowned imprint might just be their finest body of work to date. Not that any of their previous releases were lacking in anything other than a big enough audience to fully appreciate the band’s wares.
Musically, comparisons flit between the vitriolic assault of Bikini Kill to the slacker pop of Weezer and it’s a mix made in heaven for the most part. Emily Nokes’ distinctive vocal carries each cautionary tale and as a result, songs like ‘Hologram’ and ‘Crystal Ball’ brim with an urgency that’s sadly lacking in some of their peers.
Not that all subject matters here deal with fickle friends or the existential meaning of life. There’s odes to favourite pets (‘Little Friend’), past relationships (‘Meet Me At La Palma’) and self identity (‘Grains Of Salt’) while closing number ‘Miles And Miles’ is a beautifully crafted ditty that already sets pulses racing for where Tacocat might be heading on album number five. With worldwide recognition long over due, This Mess Is A Place might just be the record that sets the record straight. We’d sincerely hope so, as the world would be a better place with Tacocat at the beating heart of it.
This Mess Is A Place is out now via Sub Pop.