Peanuts – Yard Act

There’s definitely a ‘thing’ at the moment for U.K. indie bands with someone up front who doesn’t really sing. A sort of spoken wordy rant over urgent Fall Lite jangled shoegaze. This is most definitely not a complaint by the way. Not. A. Complaint.

I got all excited about Sports Team last year, and Do Nothing and before that Fontaine’s D.C and before that Idles and before then Slaves. Most recently Dry Cleaning (debut long player out any minute) have added a spin to the formula introducing less mania more ironic humour. All of them though owing a debt to Mark E Smith and to Half Man Half Biscuit. There’s more to it than that in a world where Hip Hop is 40 years old and the dominant music genre in Western culture…Well. Clever word play out ranks warbling ability everywhere that people are ‘cool’. I signed up for this over a decade ago when The Hold Steady became my idea of a great new sound. I’ve always liked Art Brut, The Pursuit Of Happiness and A House anyways. This UK indie thing in 2021 though. I’d say it’s Slaves, Idles, Kay Tempest, Sleaford Mods and Scroobius Pip’s influence as much as it was the Eat Y’self Fitter variant of The Fall.

Now we’ve got Yard Act. Fire up the Soundalike Machine: They’re like a speed punk meets The Streets wit with a dash of Mudhoney grunge taking ont he other end of the pitch to Sports Team. Except on this song… Nope. Songs not the right word. Except on this track.

Their EP Dark Days has seen some radio action for the title track (I’d argue that one is a song in the most straight forward sense of the word). the EP is a bit of a miniature concept album with its recurring themes of selling pelts, skewering conversational cliche and cracking wise on the middle classes with their open prejudices in the modern post Brexit U.K.

It’s more fun than I’m making it sound. Dark Days is a banger. It rips, it smirks and it rocks up a storm on a radio near you right now. It’s also funny. The conversational twists and turns are all in good humour even if they’re pulling the wings off the things that bug them. Track three on the four song playlist does things somewhat differently.

Peanuts starts off as a bit of a warm up proto rap before stumbling across a chant that will become recognised as the chorus. There’s some music of spiky agitated ambiance behind the first minute or so. The sort some people may find they have an allergy to. The Fall comparisons come thick and fast at this point. Just before it all comes right down down down off a cliff edge for a sort of Alan Bennett play via Zadie Smith spoken word of a middle act. There’s a tale being told of imaginary husbands, hoodwinked friends, frustration and the sort of things people say when they’re at the end of their patience. Thus far Peanuts withholds any actual rock music until it’s last 30 seconds. You know me. I’m a sucker for a good lyric. Love a fancy/funny turn of phrase I do. Thankfully it all goes towards the middle of the turntable with guitars blazing and drums being pounded. Like a rock and roll band. All punk fury and fuck you attitude. Which is nice. Peanuts is only just over 3 minutes long. It’s doing a lot in that time to get compared to a kitchen sink rock opera like Quadrophenia

That’s why Peanuts really stands out from the Fallen crowd. It’s like a little play for today. A tiny work of art.


5 thoughts on “Peanuts – Yard Act

  1. Here’s a thing. I was recently chatting with my brother and he told me that he didn’t like Protomartyr at all. I found this outrageous so asked why. He said they were nothing more than a Fall tribute act and he’d rather listen to The Fall. I expressed disbelief. As the conversation developed he mentioned Idles latest album. Had I heard it. It’s really good. Etc. I expressed disbelief. Here’s a declaration of the goodness of Idles in the same conversation that carried such a statement about Protomartyr.

    I will recommend Yard Act. The results are unpredictable (I’m not that taken by them).

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s