Yard Act
Where’s My Utopia?



It’s said that you have a lifetime to write your first record, but only 12 months to write the follow-up. Because of this, many groups start to second-guess themselves with album number two, throwing everything at a wall in the hope that something sticks.

This is exactly what Yard Act have done with Where’s My Utopia?. The Leeds group’s second long player drips with experimentation. While the angular Fall-isms of old are still there, on the whole, the album is a much more expansive affair, and it’s all the better for it.

There are real flourishes of Gorillaz on opener ‘An Illusion’, while ‘Down by the Stream’ comes across as a sort of hip-hop Ken Loach vignette. Record scratches, DOOM-esque samples and spoken word breakdowns combine with baggy rhythms, resulting in the group’s most interesting – and aggressive – song to date.

Yard Act are at their best during these moments of genre fluidity. The album’s few low points come during the more “traditional” moments. ‘The Undertow’ and ‘We Make Hits’ suffer from their more ambitious surroundings, making perfectly serviceable post-punk seem unambitious and ordinary.

Despite this, it’s hard to see Where’s My Utopia? as anything other than a resounding success. The album is a toybox of pop experimentation that hits much more than it misses. Turns out that the second album doesn’t have to be so difficult after all.