Once upon a time there used to be a band called Deaf School that was led by an ersatz-Bryan Ferry crooner named Enrico Cadillac. And because they were a rubberized sleazoid version of Roxy Music, I wiped my feet on their fourth album English Boys/Working Girls when I reviewed it in the July 1978 issue of Creem magazine.
But even though I haven’t heard Deaf School’s album since then, I still have fragments of their songs running through my head — which is a sure sign that I may have been dead wrong about them. A sure sign that Deaf School may have been dead right is that absolutely nobody else is mining Team Ferranti’s vintage Stranded and Country Life veins for inspiration these days.
So don’t expect me to make the same mistake twice by panning Franz Ferdinand this time around because these guys are a definite fresh hint of mint compared to the usual stale slices of schlock rock that I have to slog through every day.
In the best Jethro Tull tradition, there’s no actual FF on board, just four boys who aren’t too keen on blowing their own horns, credit-wise. And speaking of blowing horns, not only do they sing love songs about other boys, the inner sleeve dishes them up all decked-out and striking wonky For Your Pleasure poses.
Okay, so they occasionally hobnail to a disco beat. And yeah, they’ve got pancake panache oozing out of every sore. But don’t let that stop you because they also kick like a government mule in heat. And on “Come On” they even manage to raid Sparks’ Kimono My House stockpile. So download “Tell Her Tonight” and “Take Me Out” and hear for yourself why these guys just might have what it takes to one day be the new Roxy rollers of the 21st century.
But don’t try downloading that Deaf School album because, as far as I know, it never got transferred to a digital floor mat.
Franz Ferdinand appears at the Majestic Theater (4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit) on Sunday, June 13. Call 313-833-9700.
E-mail Jeffrey Morgan at [email protected].