Picks and Pans Review: Learning English, Lesson One
Die Toten Hosen
For aging punk rock fans, listening to the new release from this German band (Die Toten Hosen means the Dead Trousers in English) is as nostalgic as thumbing through your old high school yearbook. With one exception, the 19 tunes are cover versions of punk classics like the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop," 999's "Nasty Nasty" and Sham 69's "If the Kids Are United." To make the disc even more sentimental, the original artists put in guest appearances: Captain Sensible of the Damned performs on the cover of his band's "Smash It Up," and UK Subs founder Charlie Harper appears on the new version of his group's "Strangle Hold." Still, this album is more than just a quirky collector's item. With current acts like Offspring and Green Day leading a punk revival, this disc is the perfect way to look back—or discover—where it all began. (Atlantic)
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