Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Album Review: Tacocat - This Mess Is a Place

This Mess Is a Place
***and1/2 out of *****

The fourth full length from Tacocat is their first for Sub-Pop and it is a evolution in the bands song writing as they pull off a great trick of making poppy bubblegum punk tackle tough modern day political issues in engaging and fun fashion. This Mess Is a Place is a testament to the bands growth, sound and bright vision in these sometimes dark times ending up as their most complete and best record.

The Seattle four piece,  singer Emily Nokes, drummer Lelah Maupin, bassist Bree McKenna and guitarist Eric Randall keep get things off to a shining start with the symbol rich "Hologram" which reminds power is a hologram while directly addressing today's societal feelings, beaded curtains and the smallness of us all before the pumping "New World" amps up the hope and the dance floor ready "Grain of Salt" slams home the point that you should never forget who the fuck you are; the main flagpole of This Mess Is A Place.

The group plays with 50's doo-wop influences on the dark humor filled "The Joke of Life" and while it might sound odd dealing with nightmares and getting swallowed up by thinking to hard over and around such pretty sounding tunes that juxtaposition is the charm of Tacocat. One issue however is the playing can become too sugary and light at times but then things dig down and grip tightly on the break filled "Little Friend" which pushes big drums and crunching riffs to the forefront in almost Veruca Salt fashion.

The banging mixes with more swinging hip shaking tambourines for the bands take on the obviously fortunate few via "Rose-Colored Sky", a catchy screed while the pop punk of "The Problem" motors along while the simple day drunk swaying of "Meet Me at La Palma" is a nice break from the conscientious lyrics. "Crystal Ball" talks about the American cultural malaise and computer stupor with excellent results, proclaiming it is a great time to barely be alive before the record closes with the fuzz laden warbling of "Miles and Miles" wrapping up a rock solid release.   

While there isn't a must hear track on the record the complete work of up beat guitar rock with purpose is catchy, exciting and proof that this style can still sound fresh. This Mess Is a Place, but tomorrow it could always get messier or perhaps even better.           
A really great bandcamp find. Support the artist, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:

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