The Hotrats Turn Ons
Covers albums that work fall into two camps: radical reinventions and enjoyable detours. Examples of the former: Mark Kozelek’s AC/DC excursion What’s Next To The Moon and Grant Lee Phillips’ nineteeneighties. Examples of the latter: David Bowie’s Pin Ups, Yo La Tengo’s Condo Fucks side project, and The Hotrats’ Turn Ons, a new album from Gaz Coombes and Danny Goffe, a.k.a. half of Supergrass. Paying tribute to everyone from The Cure to The Doors, Turn Ons sounds like a collection of songs its creators always wanted to play but couldn’t find an excuse to. Nothing here sounds dashed-off, however, no doubt thanks in part to the contributions of longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Goodrich, who could probably make a Jay Reatard song sound atmospheric. Sure, the textured imitation cat-yowls on “The Lovecats” won’t make anyone forget “Exit Music (For A Film),” but it’s still a terrific-sounding album, and Coombes and Goffe’s obvious pleasure puts it over. Only a Supergrass-ian take on “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)” messes radically with the source material, but the relish they clearly take in making Bowie’s “Queen Bitch” and Roxy Music’s “Love Is The Drug” their own, if only for a couple of minutes, proves infectious.