Yard Act - The Overload (Cover Artwork)

Yard Act

The Overload (2022)

Island records

The last bastion of hope this once-great nation had left was good music. But we didn’t nurture it, instead choosing to ignore it. Yes, we’ve been trapped by the same crowd that don’t like it unless they’ve heard it before leaving me stuck flogging my progressive dead horse.          - Dead Horse

…And so the general ethos of Yard Act’s debut is laid-bare in the second track. Within this framework we get scenes of class conflict, societal disappointment, ironic detachment, and suburban boredom (which, given their Leeds, UK upbringing, doesn’t really apply to the band, but almost certainly is applied due to the background this listener brought with them) pepper 37 minutes of heavy bass grooves, staccato guitars, and talk-sung verses reminiscent of Gang of Four by way of the Talking Heads with a decent dose of Blur in there as well.

From their first EP, Dark Days (released in 2021), Yard Act has had a strong sense for reflecting the cynicism of the world we currently live in through introspective, darkly comical narratives where we all teeter on the edge of cataclysm daily, but are seemingly immune from actually caring about it.

He bloomed and he grew and grew, and still, he was doomed. Same as me, same as you. Same as everyone I ever knew.                                  - Tall Poppies

The sarcastic way Yard Act lament how we have insulated ourselves from ever needing to confront problems gives an air of fatalism to almost every song on the album. Juxtaposed with jaunty guitars there’s an inherent confrontation between the musical and lyrical content. It’s almost as if each song is saying that entertainment has and always will be an escape, but there has to be an upper limit to how much it should help us avert our eyes from the world around us. Yard Act seem to have little interest in averting their eyes and have no problem saying this to your face, but they’ll do it with a sly grin and a wink.

And make no mistake we are living out our last days in the land of the blind. Where the one eyed man was king until he lost his fucking mind. - Land of the Blind

All said, it’s a fantastic debut and something that, even though released early in the year, will almost certainly be in conversation for my album of the year when all is said and done.