As avid readers will be aware, 20JFG is rather partial to transformative videogame experiences. 2008’s Fallout 3 being one of them. Strolling along the post apocalyptic highways to 50s pop staples, killing super mutants and dicing with the crypto fascist Brotherhood of Steel…well maybe not so crypto. It was the best of times.
So it’s no surprise that another trip to the wastelands of America was pretty appealing. Fallout 4, seven years later, has been duly consumed. Seven years hasn’t changed all that much though. Some of the blasted fields of Boston are beautiful in their stark way. Like some meta commentary on the retro-futurist nostalgia the game itself trades on, the rest of the game feels just like seven years ago. The radio too’s just as (gloriously) incongruous as ever, blasting out oldie hits while you dispatch Raiders with your cobbled together arsenal.
Which got us hankering for a different sort of apocalypse simulator. One perhaps stripped of the rich tradition of gallows humour that runs through (post)apocalyptic fiction. One that stands blankly in the burning street going mad as the tooled-up, existential hero brushes past with his grating ‘jokes keep me sane’ attitude. It’s the end of the world and it’s ok not to feel fine.
The complete breakdown of civilisation is, in fact, the perfect time to ponder the bonds between worlds. The sky is on fire and everything that you’ve loved is dead or dying. It’s an atomic rapture and while your cells rapidly die your mind is free to ascend to the orange sky.
We need a radio station for that apocalypse. Handily German Army have delivered.
This is taken from the album Kalash Tirich Mir. It’s out now on Yerevan Tapes both digitally and on vinyl. You can get it direct right here.