Yard Act: there is more beyond post punk

Yard Act: there is more beyond post punk

Like other bands of what has too simplistically been renamed the “British post punk scene”, but which in reality is anything but a single block, the English Yard Act are tracing a personal path, far from obvious labels and in the name of fresh and playful experimentation which comes predominantly from their second album, “Where's my utopia?”. The new album is a co-production between the band and the member of Gorillaz Remi Kabaka Jr. “Where's my utopia?” is the follow-up to the Leeds group's debut album “The Overload”released in January 2022 and entered the hearts of many rock lovers.

Born on stage

“The Overload” was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize following numerous positive reviews, national radio playlists and a placement at number two in the official UK sales charts. Last summer the Yard Act, which they are expected in Italy on April 13th and 14th, in Bologna and Milan respectivelyopened the day on the main stage at Reading & Leeds Festival and also took part in Latitude, Fuji Rocks and Boardmasters, demonstrating great live aptitude. The band also crosses North America in November 2023 with a series of concerts in the United States, culminating with an appearance at the Corona Capital Festival in Mexico City. They held a five-night residency at their hometown Brudenell Social Club in 2023 and were joined by a distinctive lineup of comedians: Phill Jupitus, Nish Kumar, Lolly Adefope and Harry Hill. They didn't stop: They debuted as headliners at the Dot To Dot festivals in Bristol and Nottingham, performed at Primavera and held their first shows in Australia and New Zealand, making their mark on the global music scene.

The new influences

This list is useful for understanding how many antlers have been eaten in recent years. Not to forget the co-signature of Elton John who joined the band as a guest in a reworking with strings of the closing track of the first album “100% Endurance”. Written in spurts during the tour, the quartet's second act is a big step forward into a new and expansive sound world. “The main reason why 'post-punk' was the vehicle for the first album it's because it was really within our reach and came naturally to us, but we've always liked so much other music and this time we had the confidence to embrace it”, explains James Smith, voice of the band.

Throughout the album, influences ranging from composer and activist are felt Fela Kuti to Ennio Morriconebut there is also room for the electronic pop of the 2000s Spiller. You can feel it the irony of Blur and an attitude reminiscent of the Beastie Boys. Their lyrics are often political and deal with topics such as capitalism, gentrification and social class in a critical way, told using dark humor and cynical storytellingalthough in this second chapter there is a lot of room for a more personal story, a process similar to the one undertaken by Idle who, from pointing the camera at society, began to turn it on themselves.

A palette of colors

Their pieces also take on a surrealist style, they are musically powerful and intense, also thanks to the charisma of the singer who he seems like a nerd capable of transforming into an unlikely rock star once he gets on stage. The new album is a palette that Smith has allowed himself to dive deep into. The portraits of the past of external characters have largely disappeared, replaced by a series of songs that address fears and flaws from a different sonic perspective. During these years of the band's ever-growing trajectory, lead singer James Smith and his wife gave birth to their first child. And that's right this dual sense of responsibility and ambition, guilt, love, determination and everything else that forms the narrative backbone of the brilliant and exploratory “Where's my utopia?”.