‘Don’t Be A Fascist’ is the new release from Tantrum Zentrum the London-based group made up of members from UK, Canada and the USA. It’s officially out tomorrow, 30 June, but the band have kindly given Joyzine readers the chance to hear it before anyone else.
The inspiration for the song was the 80s Yugoslavian pop tune called ‘Fa Fa Fašista’ by Plavi Orkestar, which mocked the country’s obsession with WWII. While ‘Fa Fa Fašista’ sits at the intersection of folk and rock, Tantrum Zentrum have given this “wartime love story” a more indie feel; something akin to early Echo & The Bunnymen or REM; more Kit Kat Club and Krautrock than euro rock, and you can imagine getting excited if this came on the car radio when you’re driving in Europe, a track to quicken the pulse and the speed of the car.
Band member Vaat Dafuq says “the song tells a story as old as time itself: boy meets girl, and they fall in love. Then their country gets occupied by the German forces of the Third Reich, and the girl falls for the tall, handsome enemy soldier in a magnificent uniform. Needless to say, the boy is furious!“
While the lyrics are not a direct translation of the original, they still contain a few Bosnian and corrupted German words for emphasis. The track is also the third to be recorded with Steve Evans (Robert Plant, Siouxsie Sioux, Goldfrapp) and he also contributes backing vocals alongside Vaat Dafuq (vocals, guitar), Sabine de Rousseau (guitar, vocals), Valhalla Schimmer (bass guitar), and Igor Olejar (drums).
Review by Paul F Cook