In an era of music where the sad boy is king, Tacocat sticks out like a gigantic, candy-coated sore thumb with a kaleidoscope of rainbow confetti orbiting it. Founded in 2007 by Emily Nokes, Lelah Maupin, Eric Randall and Bree McKenna, the group has gathered a huge cult following among garage rock and punk fans while staying head and shoulders above the monotonous glut of music that has clogged the genre in the past few years.
The Seattle-based pop punk band is the Northwest’s best kept secret at this point, churning out songs about Cat Fancy magazine, elaborate metaphorical odes to menstruation (listen below), and breaking up with your significant other because he or she can’t shut up about Burning Man. Instantly relatable in their unabashed, gleeful cynicism, Tacocat combines legitimately funny humor with ridiculously catchy hooks, evoking classic surf pop with Beach Boy-style call-and-repeat melodies. It’s still very much punk though, and does justice to Seattle’s storied history associated with the genre. The music is also staunchly feminist in the best way possible—never overbearing and always lighthearted while exuding intelligence and poppiness.
Their Friday, July 17 show at Mississippi Studios as part of Project Pabst was quick and sweet, and a stark contrast to the markedly moody (but still amazing) openers, Shadowlands and The Ghost Ease. The band charged through their full catalog, nailing every song with a precision unheard of with most acts occupying their genre sphere. Noke’s stage presence was undeniable, wearing a bright red and black polka dot dress and grinning widely the entire time, while pausing at refrains and pseudo voguing to Randall’s guitar riffs and McKenna’s steady basslines. While Randall and McKenna seemed to be the anchors of the group, Maupin matched Noke’s cutesy bravado with her bombastic, high-reach drumming, equally sparkling smile, and twirling, curly blonde hair.
The show was a testament to exactly how locked in the bandmates are—beyond comfortable with each other, effortlessly cranking out song after song, and having fun while doing it.