The Hotrats Turn Ons

The Hotrats Turn Ons
Just like the Diamond Hoo Ha Men before them, the Hotrats are a Supergrass side-project to fill in the time between albums. Featuring Danny Goffey and Gaz Coombes, with some additional help from producer extraordinaire Nigel Godrich, they are a cover band in the same vein as Yo La Tengo's Condo Fucks alias. And much like the Condo Fucks record, the Hotrats sound like they had a ball making Turn Ons. They are able to reveal their influences, although there aren't too many shocks in that department, and also are able to plough through some songs, warts and all. That said, Godrich was never going to sit back and not earn his production money, but this still sounds suitably rough around the edges, and that definitely works in its favour. As for the choice of songs, well, there is a good deal from the expected '70s artists like David Bowie, Roxy Music and the Sex Pistols, and some equally obvious choices from the '60s, such as the Velvet Underground, the Doors and the Kinks. Throw in some Elvis Costello and the Cure, and it's a fairly eclectic collection. Most of them stay relatively close to the originals, apart from their versions of the Beastie Boys' "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)," which is given a strangely pleasing psychedelic makeover, and Squeeze's "Up The Junction," which gets slowed down rather ineffectively. Ultimately, while Turn Ons is a perfectly fine record, it isn't as good as anything Supergrass have produced during their time together. But if it keeps their real band in the spotlight until their next proper album arrives in May then it will have served a purpose. (Fat Possum)