Yard Act: Where is my utopia? review – a step forward for Leeds post-punkers | Independent

Leeds four pieces Law on construction sites made one of the most assured debuts of 2022 in Overload, although its debt to The Fall was hard to ignore, both in terms of its post-punk dynamic and frontman James Smith’s delivery. Her speech the singing still takes center stage, but this time his lyrics are more introspective, notably on Down By the Stream, a gripping rumination on his past as a school bully: “I was young, but even more so, I I was wrong.” Elsewhere, The Undertow examines the trade-off between time spent with his band and with his young family; Blackpool Illuminations finds him recounting a childhood accident to a psychiatrist, although one suspects that unreliable narration may play a role.

Musically, meanwhile, Where is my utopia? marks a huge step forward, with Gorillaz co-producer Remi Kabaka Jr helping to realize big ambitions – witness the forays into disco, the backing singers of A Vineyard for the North, David Thewlis reciting Macbeth, the flashes of orchestration . There is a joyful richness here, Oil notably echoing the maximalist sensory overload of Odelay-Beck era, with so much going on that something new hits you with every listen.

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