England's Hotrats are technically not a "new" band, considering that its two core members, Gaz Coombs and Danny Goffey, are Britpop veterans (their respective "day jobs" are frontman and drummer for the almightily awesome Supergrass). Additionally, the Hotrats' side-project album, Turn Ons, is a collection of cover songs in the vein of David Bowie's Pin-Ups, entirely consisting of distinctively Supergrassian reworkings of classics by the likes of the Doors, the Kinks, the Cure, Elvis Costello, Squeeze, Pink Floyd, Roxy Music, the English Beat, and Bowie himself.
But despite all this, Turn Ons--which was produced by longtime Radiohead production guru Nigel Godrich--sounds incredibly fresh in 2010, and the Hotrats are generating a huge amount of buzz, considering that their packed January 19 show at L.A.'s Spaceland club was attended by several members of Radiohead (yes, even the reclusive Thom Yorke) and Spoon.
Among the best covers on Turn Ons are Gang Of Four's "Damaged Goods," the Beatles' "Drive My Car," and Lou Reed's "Can't Stand It," all of which can be viewed below. But perhaps the album's most inspired--and unexpected--remake is "Fight For Your Right To Party" by the Beastie Boys, which the Hotrats brilliantly transform from a fratboy kegger chant to a bewitching dreampop tune, as evidenced by this recent Letterman performance:
Genius! Let's hope there's a Turn Ons Vol. II in the works.