“My tone is already destroyed by the time it gets to the amp”: Yard Act are redefining post-punk guitar with plugins and ‘cheapo’ gear – and they reckon a Squier Bullet Tele sounds great DI’d

Sam Shipstone
(Image credit: Provided/PR)

None of what you’ll hear on Yard Act’s thrilling and stylistically audacious sophomore album is what you could call conventional, but on occasion it borrows from convention, perhaps just to leave armchair musicologists with a little mud to grapple around in in search of a label to pin on them. Those we had are out of date.

Here we had the Leeds-based quartet down as a post-punk concern on the back of the urgent, wiry skronk of 2022 debut The Overload, and now along comes Where’s My Utopia? – all enigmatic and dynamic, the sound of a band whose sensibility has aggressively expanded, whose musical appetites have grown more adventurous from time spent together on the stage and in rehearsal rooms. 

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Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.