The last thing you want to be as an artist is owned by one of your songs. When Yard Act first emerged from Leeds a couple of years ago they did so in an unholy alliance with Graham, the xenophobic property developer who became the star of their snarkily irresistible debut single Fixer Upper.
Graham was clearly fictional but his personification was one of those which would’ve been even funnier if it wasn’t true and the quartet, fronted by city music scene vets James Smith and Ryan Needham, could quite easily have made The Overload a similarly inclined festival of punching down. Instead, they’ve taken a less orthodox, more ambitious route to escaping their back catalogue’s mildly threatening event horizon.
Smith by his own admission is as confused as the rest of us about which way modern life is up, but an album Needham only half jokingly suggested should be titled Yard Act: The Musical mostly succeeds in plotting a new course for a band yet to headline their own tour. This means that G-Dog makes only a fleeting cameo, but on tracks like Rich and Payday they veer away deliberately from the taxi that got them here. It’s also a show with a sort of happy ending, Pour Another and the soulful (yes) closer 100% Endurance offering hope and a double shot of possible redemption. You shouldn’t be owned by your possessions: progressive and different to how it might’ve been expected, on The Overload it sounds like Graham’s all bagged up and ready for the charity shop.
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