Tacocat, NVM

Maura Johnston

By Maura Johnston

on 02.27.14 in Reviews

The title of the second full-length by this Washington four-piece implies a resistance to overthinking — it’s text-message-speak for “nevermind,” the sort of disclaimer added to those moments when emotions might be too much to speak out loud or even think about. Yet this band seems impervious to embarrassment (they called themselves “Tacocat,” after all), and the title feels more like a breezy kiss-off than an apology. Each track on NVM straddles the line between punk and pop; Bree McKenna’s pogo-stick basslines collide with sha-la-la backing vocals and Lelah Maupin’s shambolically propulsive drummer, while Emily Nokes delivers deadpan complaints about trust-fund brats (“This is Anarchy”) and endlessly prattling bores (“Time Pirate”).

A punchy, feisty album that straddles the line between punk and pop

They find a lot of wiggle room in their guitar-drums-bass setup — grinding-gears guitars on “Pocket Full of Primose,” powerpop-ready blasts on “Party Trap,” mariachi trills on “Psychedelic Quinceanera,” but the band zips along giddily even with the added cargo. Each song on this punchy, feisty album feels like a 50-yard dash with another exhilarating race waiting at the finish line. Lady-punk historians will also want to take note of “Crimson Wave,” which takes the menstrual mantel of grrrl-punk classics like Heavens to Betsy’s “My Red Self” and PJ Harvey’s “Happy & Bleeding” to real-world places — like calling in sick to work because of particularly brutal cramps.