Yard Act @ Crocodile

Sir Elton John is a fan 🤩

📸: Yard Act

Wednesday, Oct 6  • 8:00 pm 

Leeds quartet Yard Act follow in the amusing British tradition of rock bands boasting sardonic front persons who can’t really sing, but who have plenty of fascinating observations to dole out the side of their mouths: see the Fall, Sleaford Mods, Dry Cleaning, etc. 

Yard Act’s 2021 EP Dark Days introduced James Smith’s conversational rants, which owe a massive debt to the late Fall curmudgeon Mark E. Smith. Making the seemingly mundane sound gripping through boozy verve, James uses piquant verbosity to yammer over Sam Shipstone’s stinging, Andy Gill-esque guitar shrapnel and bass-drum interaction. It can get even the stiffest indie rockers’ hips twitching. Yard Act further hone that minimalist, post-punk approach on their much-lauded debut LP, The Overload. There’s just enough musical variation and earworm-y bass lines on it to lend Smith’s long yarns compelling foundations.

Weirdly for a newish group, Yard Act have collaborated with devoted fan Sir Elton John on an alternate version of YA’s most poignant song, “100% Endurance,” and fellow aficionado, actor David Thewlis, who directed the video for The Overload edition of that track. With supporters like these and music that inspires repeat spins, Yard Act may see the snarky lyrics in “Rich”—”Almost by accident/I have become rich”—become prophetic.

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Dave Segal

Dave Segal

Dave Segal is a freelance music writer for The Wire, Pitchfork, Aquarium Drunkard, and other publications. He formerly served as staff writer at The Stranger and as managing editor at Alternative Press. Find him on Twitter @editaurus