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Yard Act - The Overload (Album Review)

Monday, 24 January 2022 Written by Matty Pywell

Roll up! Roll up! Welcome to Yard Act’s tour of Brexit Britain on their debut album ‘The Overload’. This band arrives with a couple of labels attached—they have been darlings of 6 Music dads for a while now, and have been grouped under the ever-ambiguous post-punk tag—but here they prove that they will endure past any efforts to pigeonhole.

Singer James Smith takes on a whole range of characters: the middle classes who have moved into riches, bosses with contempt for their workforces and chancers who will rob you at the drop of a hat. Smith deliberately dives into an exaggerated version of his Yorkshire accent, going on tangents with blokey caricatures who you’ll find mouthing off at the pub. The aim is to capture the intolerant, prejudiced minds on one side of modern, polarised British culture.​ 

This mindset is best summarised on ‘The Overload’ when we hear from a landlord who, if you do everything that he says, is actually “very fucking nice”.

Yard Act don’t need to delve too deeply into political issues, they simply let them speak for themselves in what is a bleak depiction of an island where people live in a state of contempt for one another. 

Among simple yet effective melodies, Yard Act confront a country that seems hellbent on a self-destructive sense of nationalism, where those who gain wealth seek only to keep it and there seems a genuine possibility that real change will never happen.

It’s an album that simmers in disbelief and, in merely highlighting division, ‘The Overload’ brilliantly raises so many questions about where Britain is headed. However, in the final couple of tracks they speak of a type of unity that exists purely out of horror that such inequality and prejudice can persist in the world. When everything feels like it’s crumbling, we have those small shreds to hold onto.

Yard Act Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Mon January 24 2022 - BRISTOL Rough Trade
Tue January 25 2022 - OXFORD Truck
Thu January 27 2022 - NOTTINGHAM Rough Trade
Tue February 01 2022 - LEEDS Belgrave Music Hall
Thu February 17 2022 - LONDON Village Underground
Fri February 18 2022 - BRIGHTON Patterns
Sat February 19 2022 - SOUTHAMPTON Joiners
Mon February 21 2022 - BRISTOL Exchange
Tue February 22 2022 - CARDIFF Clwb Ifor Bach
Wed February 23 2022 - NOTTINGHAM Bodega Social Club
Thu February 24 2022 - MANCHESTER White Hotel
Fri February 25 2022 - HEBDEN BRIDGE Trades Club
Sat February 26 2022 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Tue March 01 2022 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Cluny
Wed March 02 2022 - EDINBURGH Caves
Thu March 03 2022 - GLASGOW Mono - Kings Court
Fri March 04 2022 - DUBLIN Whelans
Tue April 05 2022 - LONDON EartH (Hall)
Wed May 11 2022 - BRISTOL Trinity Centre
Wed May 18 2022 - NOTTINGHAM Rescue Rooms
Thu May 19 2022 - LIVERPOOL Zanzibar
Fri May 20 2022 - LEEDS Leeds Irish Centre
Sat May 21 2022 - MANCHESTER Band on the Wall
Sun May 22 2022 - SHEFFIELD Foundry
Thu May 26 2022 - LEICESTER O2 Academy2 Leicester
Tue November 22 2022 - GLASGOW St Luke's
Wed November 23 2022 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Newcastle University Students Union
Thu November 24 2022 - LEEDS O2 Academy Leeds
Fri November 25 2022 - MANCHESTER O2 Ritz
Sat November 26 2022 - BRISTOL Marble Factory
Sun November 27 2022 - CARDIFF THE TRAMSHED
Tue November 29 2022 - SOUTHAMPTON 1865
Wed November 30 2022 - BRIGHTON Chalk

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