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An Uppercut from Yard Act

By Marc Zisman |

Qobuzissime for "The Overload", the lively first album from a new post-punk gang formed in Leeds who are just as lively as they are caustic about post-Brexit England.

The sky is quite grey, almost anthracite. The ideal fertilizer to make this teeming post-punk revival scene, which has been shaking the indie planet since the beginning of the 2010s, grow a little more. But how does one get their head out of an already dense melee in which Girl Band, Fontaines D.C., Shame, Dry Cleaning and a thousand other bands armed with square guitars and vocalists closer to scansion than to song are all jostling for a position?

To achieve this, Yard Act takes the genre's markers and predictable influences (The Fall, Gang of Four, Wire, early Talking Heads) on often unexpected paths. Better still: they are sure to not be limited to being just an electric ball of nerves or an old spit in the face of (post-Brexit) society gone wrong. No, no, Yard Act uses its rage to find different forms of expression. It's on the almost peaceful tempo of 100% Endurance that The Overload, the brilliant first album Qobuzissime by this quartet from rainy Leeds, closes...

On the mic, James Smith is a worthy heir to the Dalai Lama of post-punk, the late Mark E. Smith of The Fall, with a hint of groove thrown in. With guitarist Sam Shipstone, bassist Ryan Needham and drummer Jay Russell, Smith wraps his cynicism and bite in bright clothing.

A form of proletarian dandyism on amphetamine that sometimes resembles Sleaford Mods (a lot), Ian Durry and his Blockheads or even Pulp! Never caricatured but with a dark realism, James Smith's vignettes are sometimes funny and musically eclectic. Enough to strongly mark the spirits and make The Overload one of the first shock albums of the year 2022.



LISTEN TO "THE OVERLOAD" BY YARD ACT ON QOBUZ

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