Album Review: Die Arzte "...presents Die Arzte"

What do you do when you’ve been in a great melodic German punk band for 20 years and the language barriers finally start to break down? Well, you get all your best stuff on one album and get it out there.

After their joint tour of Germany and Japan with local favorites, the Garlic Boys, Die Artze now have a new audience to worry about. Accordingly, they have released this collection of 22 of their songs with the lyrics in both German and Japanese.

With themes like Yoko Ono, anal sex, and German politics, you might not really want to know what they’re singing about, but as German is so similar to English you can’t help getting the occasional lyric, such as "Meine Freunde sind homosexuell, meine Freunde sind alle kriminell," which, for some reason, sounds funnier in German than it ever would in English.

Words aside, the music more than speaks for itself. Opener, Wie es Geht, is an instantly memorable, searing, pulsating track with a ringing guitar; while Rock Rendezvous switches gear from full-throttle rock to introspective pools of melody. And it’s not every punk band that can do 3-part harmonies, and use moody violin and acoustic guitar as on the affecting Der Graf.

Tokyo Journal
July, 2002
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