Leeds-based Yard Act do not disappoint with debut album ‘The Overload’
Leeds-based post-punk quartet Yard Act burst onto the local music scene in September of 2020 with their first 7” single ‘Fixer Upper’ backed with ‘The Trapper’s Pelts’. Since then, the group have taken the independent music scene by storm, with singles ‘Peanuts’ and ‘Dark Days’ cementing the band as a unique voice among their peers. The long-awaited debut album The Overload is finally here, after some delays due to a shortage in vinyl pressing plants, and it is already a serious contender for album of the year!
With deep roots in the Leeds music scene, Yard Act is comprised of James Smith who grew a name for himself fronting Post War Glamour Girls, Ryan Needham who saw some success as one half of the core duo which made up the criminally underrated band Menace Beach, joined by Sam Shipstone on guitar and Jay Russell on drums. Their debut album The Overload seems to cover every mood from the high energy, driving beat of ‘Witness (Can I Get A?)’, to the existential-crisis-inducing despair of ‘Tall Poppies’ because closing out with a message of hope in the form of ‘100% Endurance’. Truly, there is not a bad song on this album – track 8 ‘Quarantine the Sticks’ even features contributions from Tor Maries (otherwise known as the post-punk giant Billy Nomates) . The standout track, though, is surely ‘Dead Horse’, which is arguably one of the best pieces of artistic social commentary since fellow Yorkshireman J.B. Priestley wrote ‘An Inspector Calls’. A stunning indictment of current-day England and the shoddy state it finds itself in, ‘Dead Horse’ features the sort of brilliantly smart and sarcastic lyrics which Yard Act have become synonymous with.
Smart lyrics, catchy tunes and a decent sense of humour – independent music has been begging for a band like Yard Act for far too long. The Overload is a triumph of a debut album. Released on the band’s own Zen F.C. label, and distributed via Island Records, on a seemingly endless volume of different vinyl editions of varying rarity (including exclusive editions released via Crash Records and Jumbo Records here in Leeds!), plus hand-spray painted CDs and two different variants of cassette tape – surely there is valid opportunity for everybody in the country to own a copy of this album, and quite rightly too!
Currently on a tour of the nation’s record stores, Yard Act will return to Leeds for a show at Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen for the first time since their legendary Halloween 2021 set as part of Dark Arts Festival. Tickets are available via See Tickets, although they are likely to be snapped up very quickly so don’t hang around!