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‘The Overload’ Launch Show Proves Why Yard Act’s Post-Brexit Punk Is Climbing The UK Charts

Photo by Josh Aberman

In an effort to promote their debut album, The Overload, Yard Act gave an energetic set at Soho’s famous 100 Club. Put on by Sister Ray Records, the event culminated in a massive vinyl signing by the band, as attendees’ tickets were included with the purchase of the physical record.

Yard Act does not shy away from the fact that they are a UK band. Capturing a post-Brexit, post-punk sound, the band’s lyricism is heated with political references. Their decision not to shy away from their British identity is likely one reason that The Overload has steadily risen to the top of the UK charts, as they enter a neck-in-neck competition with Years & Years for the number one album spot. However, it is not just witty, political lyricism that has led The Overload to rise in popularity so rapidly. With this new album, Yard Act proves itself to be a band with true staying power as they deliver a clean, poignant, and fun record. Although clearly influenced by other bands like Idles, Parquet Courts, and The Talking Heads, Yard Act still manage to deliver a sound wholly their own on this record.

Photo by Josh Aberman

Despite the fact that The Overload is Yard Act’s debut EP, the band has already garnered a large and dedicated fanbase. Even at 12 pm on a Saturday, the 100 Club was packed with fans, many of whom were shouting for the band to play older singles like ‘Fixer Upper’ and ‘The Trapper’s Pelt’. Though Yard Act willingly obliged these song requests, lead singer James Smith joked about the fact that the audience kept asking them to play their older material when the band was there to promote their new album. Smith’s humour was present throughout the show, with him often pointing out the meta-irony of a band so critical of capitalism, having sold so many records. While you would be right to have trepidations about a politically driven, UK post-punk band too self-aware of their own exploitation of capitalism, Smith’s genuinely intelligent banter was a welcome addition to the set, interspersing legitimate moments of hilariousness between the exceptionally polished songs.

Though Smith’s lyricism and energetic vocal performance took centre-stage throughout the set, Yard Act’s other members brought just as much to the table as the band’s frontman. Made up of Ryan Needham on bass, Sam Shjipstone on guitar, and Jay Russell on drums, the band’s instrumentalists were tight and cohesive. Shjipstone was especially impressive, as his guitar was made to sing out with gutturally-loud punkness. His style was loud and abrasive, fitting perfectly with Smith’s lyrics and vocal performance.

Photo by Josh Aberman

Yard Act has quickly established itself as an important figure in political, post-Brexit punk music. The band is already topping charts and is now working to build an even larger and more dedicated fan base, touring the country to promote their debut EP. The Overload is an album that deserves the attention and praise that it has been receiving, and Yard Act’s live performance only improved upon the record’s foundations.

To keep up with Yard Act, you can check out their website, Instagram, or YouTube.

Photos by Josh Aberman


Edited by Talia Andrea, Deputy Music Editor


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