The Great Dictators – Play Dead Together (2020)

One of the best things about the 90s was their slacker rock. A crossover of indie-rock and grunge, it has produced some of the most anthemic songs from outstanding artists. ‘Creep’ is a particular favourite. It’s really a song about stalking with a highly emotional and unforgettable chorus. Looking at issues of self-deprecation and the cruelness of reality compared to that fantasy existence. I bet you’re thinking about ‘Creep’ right now, aren’t you?

It’s difficult to find decent covers of the song, despite ‘Creep’ being a standard at most indie-rock festivals. When the band released ‘Creep’ I doubt they imagined it would have such a dizzying effect on a generation of indie-rock, grunge and, well, anyone who hears it. Along with Ash, Pulp and Supergrass, Radiohead became a standard to which indie-rockers aspire.

Reminiscent of Radiohead, Danish indie rock trio The Great Dictators are making their own mark in the slacker rock scene. After a three-year break, the band is about to release a new album – One Eye Opener – via Celebration Records on April 17th. As with most bands, The Great Dictators are slowly releasing singles from the album for promotional reasons. One of these tracks is ‘Play Dead Together’.

In a similar vein to almost any track off Ash’s Free All Angels, ‘Play Dead Together’ uses calming beat to illustrate the issue of existentialism in the song. While previous releases place an emphasis on synths to create a tranquil effect, ‘Play Dead Together’ is a movement away from this approach with an overlay of simple synths instead of full focus.

So, why should you listen to ‘Play Dead Together’?

In addition to the sound of a flat tyre in the background, the lyrics provided by vocalist Dragut Lugalyagozi are an expression of life in the 21st century. Not only life but the essence of survival in this world. Reality can be confusing, complicated, painful and nerve-racking; lying in a room eating chocolate cake can remove you from this existence but only for so long. Comfort is significant in dealing with conflicting emotion – ‘Play Dead Together’ is a verbalisation of comfort in a myriad of bewilderment. Playing dead together with a person you feel relaxed around is a way of dealing with life’s torment and feeling a degree of closeness to something.

While ‘Play Dead Together’ may not have the raw honesty of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ or Ash’s ‘Shining Light’, it has the potential to reach anthemic status. Addictive and memorable, The Great Dictators have a ready-made hit in ‘Play Dead Together’.

You can engage with this Danish threesome on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Listen to their music on SoundCloud and Spotify.

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