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Advance Review - Tacocat: This Mess is a Place

(Photo Credit: Helen Moga)

Thanks to Sub Pop Records we got advance access to Tacocat's new record This Mess is a Place due out on May 3rd! Check out our track by track review below!

Advance Review - Tacocat: This Mess is a Place: 

"Hologram" is a fantastic guitar-driven alt-pop track with dynamic vocals. It's breaks out at the chorus in a way that almost evokes memories of pop-punk of the early 2000's. The drums also play a significant role in the track, serving as the backbone of the rhythm. "New World" is again in the alt-pop genre, but again has some punk roots to it, especially in the percussion and guitar combination. There are some great harmony sections in this track as well. The track features an interesting breakdown section as well. I also absolutely loved how Tacocat stuck the landing in this one.

"Grains of Salt" has a more pop feel to the rhythm, particularly in the guitar. Tacocat also implement a lot of homemade harmonies, which you know I absolutely dig. The hook on this song is absolutely killer and reminds me of early No Doubt stuff before Gwen Stefani went full pop. The drums here are prominent again, which seems to be a common thread throughout. There's an awesome breakdown at the end of this track as well that really shifts up the sound on the track. In "The Joke of Life" the melody and backing vocals have a classic throwback vibe to surf rock. This rings true vocally, in the guitar effects, and in the percussion. Its fun and fresh to hear a callback to this time and this era of music and Tacocat do it justice. The chorus is absolutely fantastic.

Next up is "Little Friend" which evokes comps to 90's alt with Emily Nokes' vocals. The harmonies here are great per the usual. The hook is straight indie-punk style, with a touch of The Breeders thrown in for good measure. It's a great recipe that makes for highly listenable music. "Rose-Colored Sky" continues the indie-punk vibe that's been a prevalent thread throughout the album. Especially on the chorus and drums.  

"The Problem" is another indie-punk tune that features great harmonies vocally and ripping rhythms. The drums here keep pace much like they have on the other tracks. Nokes' vocals on this one are high reaching and dynamic, especially toward the end of the track. In "Crystal Ball" Tacocat mixes indie-punk with alt pop a bit, with the melody on the buildup toward the hook leaning heavily toward the indie-punk side of the equation. The bass on this song is a star as well, as it plays a prevalent role throughout the verses. 

"Meet Me at La Palma"is more of an indie track than anything, with some surf influence present throughout (especially with the harmonies). It has a dynamic chorus that jumps off the record at you, in part because the vocals and drums are so dynamic. There is also a great guitar solo on this one as well. To end the album, Tacocat has "Miles and Miles". This song is a bit subdued initially, but quickly takes an indie-punk turn at the chorus with ripping guitar chords and great harmonies. The juxtaposition between the chorus and the verse is so stark that it works so well. 

Closing Thoughts - If you're looking for a fun mix of indie-punk, surf-rock, and alt-pop then look no further. This album has a little bit of everything for you. The vocals are crisp and tight and the harmonies are stellar. The guitar work has hints of overdrive that isn't too much, and perfectly distorts the guitar for the sort of sound Tacocat was aiming for. The drums on the album heavily evoke memories of classic punk and features a lot of rolls and speedy melodic work put in. This is an album you're definitely going to want to get your hands on.   

Rating - 4.5/5

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