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Album Review

A collection of singles, vinyl-only cuts, and other oddities as part of the Teen Beat "Warm Series," Chicoutimi finds Mark Robinson and his cohorts in crisp and tense Factory-worship mode — so no change there. But then again, it's that worship of a sound and style filtered through Robinson's lens which has proven so wonderful and influential over time, and if the main albums are the ones to search first, this is still a great listen for fans and a reasonable introduction to newcomers. There's a number of alternate versions of tracks for the dyed-in-the-wool folks to compare and contrast, including a great take on "Happy Adventure" that balances an air of threat with crisp robot rock just so. "Flatbush (Samantha)" might be as close as Flin Flon comes to a garagey-type rave-up, at least on this record, but there's just enough restraint to make it clear that '60s revivalism, per se, isn't really the plan. Then again, Robinson is hardly doing soul screaming and testifying either. Whether it's the growling-then-purring bass on "Rimouski" offset by radio signal guitars and Robinson's almost-sighing vocals or the jumping Peter Hook-volume riffs and playful crooning on the title track, Chicoutimi is broad-smiling, good fun through and through, and why not? Special moments of fun: the drumming freakouts and sudden silences on "Jumpers," as great a depiction of rock percussion dynamics as anything, and the stinging central guitar riff of "Floods (Version No. 2)," finding the balance between arena rock and minimalism just so. Then there's the Fishbone and Tube Bar-sampling sorta gabba-techno conclusion of "Kamloops (Version)," from another place entirely and proud of it.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The indie trio Flin Flon was one of countless projects spearheaded by Mark Robinson, the onetime frontman of Unrest as well as the founder of the TeenBeat Records label. Formed in September 1997 expressly to record three new Robinson tracks, Flin Flon (also including True Love Always' Matt Datesman on drums and ex-Cold Cold Hearts bassist Nattles) became an ongoing concern early the...
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Chicoutimi, Flin Flon
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