Imagine fusing the raw electric guitar sound of The White Stripe’s “Icky Thump” and the charisma and vocals of The Arctic Monkeys into a cover band making Britpop reinventions of songs from an eclectic genre list. Finally, have Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich have his way with it. That’s just what England’s The Hotrats have done in their debut album “Turn Ons,” adapting classics made by artists such as The Kinks, The Sex Pistols and The Beastie Boys.
The Hotrats (an homage to Frank Zappa’s album of the same name) is the side project of brothers Gaz Coombes and Danny Goffey (both of whom are members of the rock band Supergrass). With the single “Drive My Car” by The Beatles among their cover songs, The Hotrat’s career has expanded. Over and over this album proves itself as much more than just a cover project.
“Turn Ons” truly withholds the integrity of the originals and brings an unexpected quality that you wouldn’t normally expect a cover band to produce. For example, Pink Floyd’s “Bike” is turned from a psychedelic time-honored track into a clever upbeat alteration, maintaining the mindbending noisy outro of the original. In “Crystal Ship” by The Doors, everything is spot on from vocals that sound hauntingly like Jim Morrison to the accented keyboards.
The album has all the wonder of finding a new favorite artist with the expectations of familiar songs. This most recent project of The Hotrats has given light to the dark musical genre of “cover band.”http://www.keystoneonline.com/2010/02/05/hotrats/