Flash Cooney & the Deans of Discipline

  • Flash Cooney & the Deans of Discipline
  • Horror-Glitter-Transvesto-Billy (CBGB / Celluloid) 1987 

With a tongue-twister of a title, songs called things like “Cute & Drunk” and a cover that shoves the band’s glam trash aesthetic into your retinas, you’d be forgiven for dismissing Flash Cooney & the Deans of Discipline as low-rent hair metal wannabes. Though the Deans had roots in the CBGB scene of the ‘70s (enough to get released on the club’s label and be “executive produced” by Hilly Kristal), by their arrival on vinyl in 1987, the dominant strains were rockabilly and New York Dolls’ R&B-infused glam ‘n’ roll, with nary a twiddle-dee-dee guitar solo in earshot. The band’s apparent obsession with girls (hell, anyone) under the influence would be troubling if it wasn’t so face-smackingly tongue-in-cheek. But “Future Fox,” a paean to underage nooky with the eye-popping line “There’s only two things between us, and that’s a pair of panties and about twenty years,” counts heavily on a listener’s sense of humor. The frantic “College Boy,” the anthemic “Lovers on Drugs” and the delirious “Rockabilly Ambulance” boast the kind of hooks perfect for drunken Saturday night singalongs, and the sleaze feels too lighthearted to be truly disturbing. Somewhere between a Cramps cover band and a parody of Sunset Strip hair farmers, Horror-Glitter-Transvesto-Billy (allegedly recorded live at CBGB, though the lack of crowd noise suggests the club must’ve been closed at the time) may appeal to certain mondo trash-soaked sensibilities.

[Michael Toland]