Where's My Utopia? by Yard Act album review by David Saxum for Northern Transmissions. The UK band's LP drops on March 1st via Republic


Where's My Utopia

Yard Act

Dive into the auditory surrealism that is Yard Act’s latest album, “Where’s my utopia?” This musical journey defies categorization, much like trying to pin down a shape-shifter in a hall of mirrors. James Smith’s vocals channel a Beck-esque vibe, playfully flaunting their status as “post-punk poster boys” in tracks like “We Make Hits.”

But it’s not just about catchy hooks and clever lyrics; this album is a sonic collage, weaving in samples from diverse sources, reminiscent of hip-hop’s experimental heyday. The use of samples adds layers of nostalgia, with nods to 80s and disco vibes given a modern twist in songs like “The Undertow” and “Dream Job.” You can catch echoes of Gorillaz, Beck, The Fall, Pavement, and more, all swirling together in a kaleidoscope of sound.

Experimentalism pulses through every facet of the album, from the instrumentals to the sampling, from the dark humor driving home poignant messages to the ever-shifting tones. Yet amidst the exploration, Yard Act never loses their footing; each track stands strong, a testament to their artistic vision.

Take “Blackpool Illuminations,” for example, where Smith spins tales of his childhood over a chilled rock melody. Just as you start to sink into the storytelling, he throws in a joke. Smith is asked, “Would you say that’s your biggest fear?” he replies “What’s my biggest fear?” “Change.” Smith, “No, I would probably say being drowned and buried in the bottom of the lake is my biggest fear. Sorry” and then continues with his story of Blackpool Illuminations. Wrapping up the song, he confesses to embellishing much of the narrative and brushes off concerns about the reception of a potential second album. It’s this blend of sincerity and self-awareness that makes “Blackpool Illuminations” a standout track on the album.

“Sincere and tongue in cheek,” that’s the essence of this album. It’s post-punk meets exploration meets everything we didn’t know we needed. “Where’s my utopia?” invites you to lose yourself in its surreal soundscape, and trust me, you won’t want to find your way out.

Pre-order by Yard Act HERE


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