‘Rich’ is the final single from the highly anticipated debut LP; The Overload, from Leeds band Yard Act. The album follows a booming year that includes a Jools Holland appearance, 5-star reviews from acclaimed music mags, a shout out from Elton John, as well as being named ‘NPR Slingshot Artist for 2022’. The Guardian describes them as “deadpan storytelling over catchy, snaking riffs and relentless grooves” – which is pretty accurate, actually.
‘Rich’ brings us more of that Yard Act blunt delivery and sardonic wit, frontman James Smith, gives his own take; “Rich’ is the natural successor to ‘Payday’. That’s the end of the story right? Success! Status! Security! Except, there’s always more money to be made, and you’re deemed a failure if your life starts to head back in the direction it came from”
The track has a simplistic DIY sound yet feels carefully considered, James’ lyricism and vocals remind me of John Cooper-Clarke crossed with David Byrne from Talking Heads. There is the rhythm and delivery of poetry, said with humour and urgency. Nevermind post-punk, it’s punk for 2020 onwards. Lines such as; “I’ve done some terrible things because I am rich”, although amusing – also pack an underlying message of greed and capitalism. Wildly, I thought the track had a lot in common with The Flying Lizards cover of ‘Money’.
I’ve fallen for Yard Act, hard, and I love this track. I feel like I’ve been waiting for a band like this to come along and speak directly through my headphones to me, encapsulating the spirit of those that came before but very much of the moment at the same time. That is unique. And if ‘Rich’ and the album make it big then it’s like James says, “I thought it would be quite funny if Yard Act made a shit ton of money after I’d written an anti-capitalist concept album.”
‘Rich’ is taken from The Overload LP by Yard Act out now on Island Records/Zen F.C.
Find out more on Yard Act’s official website
Review by Jo Overfield