Yard Act – Where’s My Utopia?

An emboldened new chapter...

Second album syndrome must be particularly daunting for Yard Act following their genre-defining debut. Initially met with both acclaim and accusations of ripping off The Fall, they became the face of modern post-punk with their quick wit and political lyrics.  

On ‘Where’s My Utopia?’, Yard Act are ready to begin a whole new chapter. With the help of Gorillaz’s Remi Kabaka Jr, they lean more heavily into the experimental elements of retro hip-hop and disco. What remains unchanged is their sense of humour, referring to themselves as “post-punk’s latest poster boys” who “ride on the coattails of the dead” on ‘We Make Hits’. 

Nostalgia plays an important role here as frontman James Smith reflects on his childhood through the lens of a new father on ‘Fizzy Fish’ and ‘Down By The Stream’. It is most overt on ‘Blackpool Illuminations’, a spoken-word reminiscing of childhood holidays accompanied by a string section. Of course, he brings us right back to classic Yard Act in the end: “Are you making this up?” “Some of it, yeah, why?” 

‘Where’s My Utopia?’ is a musically diverse step forward for Yard Act, who refuse to be intimidated by their debut, as Smith asks himself at the end of ‘Blackpool Illuminations’, “Why the fuck was I wondering what wankers would think of album two?” 

8/10

Words: Vicky Greer

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