Yard Act: The Overload – politico pop with a welcome sense of humour

Fri, Jan 21, 2022, 05:00

   
 

Album:
The Overload

Artist:
Yard Act

Label:
Zen FC/Island Records

Genre:
Alternative

“Gammons, Karens, Snowflakes, whatever – I find it all so boring,” believes Yard Act singer James Smith. According to the title track of his band’s debut album, we are living in the age of the gentrified savage. We are also living in an age where post-punk bands with half-spoken vocals are ubiquitous, but this quartet do things very differently.

Yard Act hail from Leeds, the birthplace of Gang of Four’s spiky broadsides against capitalism. Unlike Gang of Four, Yard Act’s music has a refreshing sense of humour, which is glaringly absent in most politico-pop. Smith delivers plenty of sardonic lines such as: “Look here, what you need to understand is you wanna make some decent money from it you’d be better off kicking that dickhead singer you’ve got in out the band.”

The end result is a highly likable blend of gently funky catchy bangers that could propel Yard Act into being one of those January indie pop sensations such as Franz Ferdinand, or maybe even Arctic Monkeys, in the early noughties. They’ve already got the BBC Sound of 2022 nod and the Rocket Man himself, Sir Elton John, has granted them his regal seal of approval. It’s also a sign of confidence that their best known track to date is absent.

Dead Horse is the funniest and sharpest musical take on Brexit yet. Rather than rant, rave, or preach, Yard Act always entertain, while still offering some biting social commentary. The Overload is genius in its simplicity and effectiveness.