German post-punk band Drens from Dortmund celebrated the 75th anniversary of VE Day on May 8 on which Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allies in 1945, marking the end of World War II in Europe with the release of its single and video “I Can Barely See” from the group’s Pet Peeves EP. With the rise of far right and generally authoritarian parties and leaders across the world things can seem pretty bleak and hopeless particularly if you’re living under the regimes of Donald Trump in the USA, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, Narendra Modi in India and Viktor Orbán in Hungary. You may have heard of some of the anti-human rights practices of the likes of Russia’s Vladimir Putin or China’s Xi Jinping. But the song and its playful video takes on modern fascism and authoritarianism with a spirited humor casting the band members as heroes in a video game with the rock band as a force for good against the bad guys. It’s a light-hearted approach but it makes the whole affair seem manageable if challenging and the urgency of the music with its echoing guitar chimes and driving rhythms do honor to the peril and hard work that will be required but it also shows how when people work together and remain diligent in the struggle against the sort of politics it was assumed was vanquished following the second world war that anti-Fascists can prevail. Watch the video for “I Can Barely See” on YouTube, connect with Drens at the links below and you can support the non-profit campaign group Kein Bock auf Nazis which fights far right politics in Germany and elsewhere at https://www.keinbockaufnazis.de.
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