The juxtaposition of black and white cultural artifacts of media yesteryear with rich, distorted synths and electronic beats in The Great Dictators’ video for “Killing Fields” is surprisingly effective in creating an otherworldly space to explore themes of modern anxieties. Humanity has been through periods of that seemed like the end of history or at least of the world as we have, collectively, known it. And all through those times people have had to live their lives and not put everything on hold even as they tangle with the possibility of their way of life coming to an end and the march of historical events right into their lives. The lived experience is not in chapters you can conveniently analyze from a temporal distance. Honorius seeing the Visigoths march into Rome, Paul von Hindenburg appointing Adolf Hitler Chancellor of Germany, the days leading up to the fall of Saigon and countless other points in human history when people made fateful decisions, faced their own destruction or the end of their civilization had mundane stuff they had to deal with. The Great Dictators aren’t saying at all that it’s all going to be okay, even though the upbeat rhythm and brooding pace has some nice pop hooks. They are showing solidarity with the mundanity of even the most dramatic periods in our history like the one we face now and to suggest that many of us, if not most of us, will make it through and have to pick up the pieces as best we can. Watch the video for “Killing Fields” on YouTube, follow The Great Dictators at the links below and look out for the band’s new full length One Eye Opener due out April 17 via Celebration Records.