SINGLE REVIEW: “THE TRAPPER’S PELTS” BY YARD ACT
Consisting of veterans of the Leeds post-punk scene, recently formed Yard Act drop their debut single and send me into a spiral of self-doubt. Turns out, doubt can be a good thing. Who knew?
You might have expected me to be, understandably, biased about a band to come from DRAB’s hometown but I can’t lie, Yard Act have been a slow burner for me, and have caused some internal warfare about my passion for all things post-punk. From seeing them live a couple of times, they fit the aesthetic perfectly (I don’t think I’ve ever once seen the lead singer, James Smith, detached from his trusty trenchcoat) and in terms of musical quality they house all the necessities in the average post-punk genre. As a result, by the time their debut “The Trapper’s Pelts” came around, I didn’t anticipate adding it to my go-to playlist as eagerly as I did.
It seemed as though it wasn’t just me and the Leeds scene that was hit with the weight behind this release either. I was surprised to see it take so many other switched on DIY heads by storm, all across the UK. You could argue that the fastpass to their early success could be a result of self-nepotism (if that’s a thing?) from their alternate lives with their other acclaimed groups such as Speedy Wunderground’s Treeboy & Arc… and you could well be right. But is that really such a problem? This is where the aforementioned doubt that I experienced began: But I really liked the track. Ever present now, is the moral to not judge a book by it’s first appearance onstage, and I can’t help feeling guiltily thankful for my lowered expectations.
Enough about my ill-morals, let’s talk about the topic at hand. “The Trapper’s Pelts” is a cleancut post-punk song. Evidently taking influence from such greats as The Fall, I can’t help but respect such a fitting homage to the first instance of this genre’s revival. Admittedly, in doing so the song doesn’t quite cross the border into the realms of extraordinary but truth be told, I don’t think it needs to. I’m perfectly happy listening to a song that so fittingly delivers its intention on a platter of true post-punk sound, appropriated to their modern chic image.
Instantly kicking in with a bouncy drum beat, enforcing a short lyrical excerpt that is a quick kick in the teeth for the modern age, Smith argues that the ‘state of everything’ could have been avoided if we’d all paid closer attention. This sets the tone for the rest of the narrative, filled with metaphors and tongue-in-cheek anecdotes that are reinforced by the grumbling basslines and airy guitar chords that we have all come to love in contemporary post-punk. I can’t help but respect how appropriate “The Trapper’s Pelts” is to the post-punk genre.
Writing by Luc Gibbons