aec.tbt285.2 4/16/02 New
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    Chicoutimi Teenbeat

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Review Text 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. ~ Ned Raggett

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