Song Of The Day 11/13/2014: The Hotrats - "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)"

Quarterly Covers Report: The Hotrats are Gaz Coombes and Danny Goffey, late of the band Supergrass, who were easily as good as anybody from the Britpop Insertion of the '90s and aggravatingly overlooked in years hence. I'll refer you to their 1997 album In It For the Money, a great album whose title harkened back to the debut album from Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, We're In It For the Money. Similarly, the name of their side group recalls yet another Zappa album with the same title. All of which knocks me off-axis a little bit because neither Supergrass nor the Hotrats remind me the slightest of Frank Zappa, who I always felt was a much better guitarist and theoretician than he was a songwriter. Let's have that knock-down drag-out fight later when I'm on less antihistamines.

Anyway, the Hotrats' 2010 covers album Turn Ons -- a title similar in cadence to David Bowie's Pin Ups, also a covers album -- contains 12 songs that are real reinventions of the original material. (It also contains a version of this past Monday's song, "Pump It Up.") Their reinterpretation of the Beastie Boys' first, biggest and least representative hit single ushers it away from the beer-soaked drool of the mid-80's and into a rumbling slice of Quadrophenia teen angst. They also turn it from a rap song to one with a standard pop vocal melody, which amps up the wistfulness. Uh-huh, yes, this is a wistful number now. Dave Davies howling at the streetlight, or Gerry realizing the ferry's not going to make it across the Mersey and his girlfriend's on it. In any case, what could very have been a gimmick turns out to be a ballad for the dismissed Anglo Saxon boy in all of us.

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