Dai Dorogu! remains one of the most revered rock bands in Belarus. Their recently released seventh studio album, Under the Howling of Dogs, captures the defiant spirit of Belarusian people during the third month of countrywide protests.
“Here is everything that I have lived through and that has accumulated in me over the past years,” lead singer Yuri Stylsky wrote on Instagram.
The album is the band’s most political release since forming in Brest in 1998. In the same post, Stylsky dedicates the album to “all honest, courageous, sincere, and fiery hearts,” a message reinforced by the album’s timely cover art, depicting a crowd uniting an anti-government protest. The image, authored by illustrator Ania Crook, captures the moment President Alexander Lukashenko scolds the congregation of protesters — including the band members — high up from his balcony.
The most explicit track slamming police brutality on Under the Howling of Dogs is “Bye-bye” (“Bayu-bay”). The video for the track was released in July 2020, when opposition leaders were arrested ahead of the country’s forthcoming presidential elections. With its video game-style visuals, the music video shows a policeman driving, fully-armed, through a wheat field, while bulldozing whoever crosses his path — including children, doctors, and firefighters. The lyrics are equally devastating: “I am the policeman who’s been driving this truck for 20 years/ For some extra money, I can even beat my friends [...]/ If you love your motherland, you will get a beating.”
Later, in August, Stylsky was arrested for marching through Brest with thousands of other protesters and was released shortly after.