October 3, 2016

tacocat

Douglas Martin’s first screen name was a pro wrestling finishing move.

At this point in all of our lives, our consumption of the internet reaches levels of importance somewhere between water and air, and most of us have a love-hate relationship with it. It’s a boundless source of information, overflowing with anything you ever needed to know about pretty much everything. It’s a noxious echo chamber, replete with hashtags and hot takes, harsh words and sometimes threats from people you don’t know, subtweets from people you respect. It’s a place—is it even a place? Or is it a concept hanging in the ether like the idea of Heaven?—that is alternately substantial and flimsy, extremely profound and frustratingly vapid. It’s like if you could access one of the Library of Congress’ hidden rooms and Pandora’s Barf Bag with the same password.

Lost Time, the 2016 LP from Seattle’s preeminent DIY pop-leaning punks Tacocat (a name, not surprisingly, wildly appropriate for our internet-devoured age), is a reasonably swift, undeniably catchy rock record that both skewers mansplaining, unflinchingly rebuffs that infamous, scaremongering New Yorker article from last year, and memorializes television’s most celebrated skeptic. A perfect soundtrack for quitting your job and hating the weekend in one fell swoop.

“The Internet” is the closest Lost Time gets to being forlorn. It sounds like it took the song’s three-minute running time for it to be written, which is one of Tacocat’s most favorable qualities given their success rate in writing such indefatigable pop stunners. Its chorus of “What place do you have? / What face do you have?” begs for a full-throated singalong at a Twitter-sponsored SXSW showcase.

Blank avatars peppering the song’s lyrics make a bold starring appearance in the video for “The Internet,” with the song’s lyrics — devoted to calling out the insecurities of basement trolls — appearing from the broad side of a cursor as quickly, sometimes as clumsily, as a person could think and type it up. I could catalog the emoji, Blingee animations, and various social media platforms referenced in the video’s three minutes, but part of the fun is recognizing the goofiness of Twitter or the multi-purpose of Google Drive. The video for “The Internet” is about as straightforward a critique of the entity as the song itself, and given the obfuscation of some people’s true intentions when they post, a straightforward critique is more honorable than the scrolls of trolls.