Live Review: Through music and message, Tacocat get colorfully blunt at Great Scott


Tacocat may be the only band that can play to an audience back-to-back songs about cat fanatic magazines and periods — and have the crowd respond enthusiastically to both. From refrains of “All cats all the time” (“Cat Fancy”) to “F.D.P./Don’t fuck with me!” (from “F.D.P.”, a clever abbreviation for First Day of Period) the Seattle outfit gave Great Scott a reason to fist-pump last night (September 29) with their signature bubblegum style of punk.

Truly, there is no better place for Tacocat than Allston, especially on the day of their video release for “The Internet”, a tumblr-worthy clip made by Boston artist Faye Orlove. The strategically unkempt twenty-somethings of Rat City crawled out to the corner of Harvard and Comm to see the Washington foursome, who, if slurping drinks at the bar, would seamlessly blend in with the motley crew. Attendees donned all-denim outfits bedazzled with pins that read “Sex, feminism, and rock ‘n’ roll,” along with patches and heeled boots to match. This is the culture that bands like Tacocat have strived to cultivate, the pastel-grunge that puts an entirely new spin on pop and punk’s angsty lovechild. The rainbow gumballs on the cover of Tacocat’s album NVM and kooky cat clocks on Lost Time make the genre apparent before the needle even drops. A banner behind them, spelling Tacocat with a U.F.O. as the “o” further established the palindromic crew.

The opening acts commenced the evening’s musical friction by juxtaposing the wry alternative of Yairms with the upbeat garage of Dude York, but Tacocat were the true firecracker of the show.


With a set ranging from discussing topics of misogyny to breakups, Tacocat covers the entire experience of existing as a woman in the 21st century while nailing a punchy groove. In the same breath, singer Emily Nokes can pay homage to ’60s feminist figure Dana Katherine Scully and curse sexist behavior like man-spreading and catcalling. “Hey man, I like your style/Tell a girl that she should smile” Nokes taunted on “Hey Girl”, a satirical take on unsolicited “compliments” from men, all while parading around with a tambourine without looking awkward. The group touched on the inevitable, too, with songs like “Spring Break-Up”, to vent over the stresses of relationships gone awry. After each quick quip on their two-minute songs, Nokes landed in a dramatic gymnastic poses, her pastel hair cemented in place atop her head with an oversized flower hairclip.

Hoping to set their pastel punks aflame with distaste for the world before letting them back into the world, the band played “I Hate the Weekend”, but resurrected “UTI” when called back for an encore. The comically blunt song from 2010 about urinary tract infections couldn’t sum up the band’s attitude any better. “My vagina is infected!/My vagina is defective!” Nokes screeched with agony. The takeaway: that Tacocat’s music can be just as accurate as it is infectious.

Follow Victoria Wasylak on Twitter @VickiWasylak.