I hereby award The Flin Flon Bombers the prize for most creative packaging of any local CD I received in 2008. I confess my jaw was agape before I even had the chance to listen to the disc. It comes in a jacket the size of a 45 RPM record and appears to have been completely hand-assembled with glue and tape. The tracklisting may even be hand-printed. The CD itself is one of those black ones with grooves that look like records and was affixed to a real 45 with a hand-made CD nipple attachment. (In my case, the one of a kind enclosure featured a copy of the 1972 G. Brooks-E. Shuman song "Love is the Way of Life" - perhaps fittingly broken - by a band called Michaels, which you've never heard of because it never charted.)
I don’t think I’ve received such a remarkable package from a local band since Doc’s Kids sent me pudding packs and a banana several years ago to promote their CD Snack Pack.
Once I had unwrapped the Flin Flon Bombers disc and put it carefully into my CD player, I noticed that the first “song” was just over a minute long, and the second lasts 24 seconds. Finally, the third track, the ‘60s psychedelic pop strains of “Permahigh,” actually lasts a full 2.5 minutes. There are 22 songs on the album. It all goes by in just 36 minutes and includes almost as many different musical styles. As far as I know, this is a debut release, yet it is called “The Very Best of…” That actually makes a strange sort of sense when you think about it.
Taken as a whole, “The Very Best of The Flin Flon Bombers” is a mysterious and eclectic low-fi work that resembles what The Beatles’ White Album might have sounded like if The Fab Four had recorded it in your garage, and it had been produced by The Residents.
In addition to several gems of bright, catchy pop, the album includes a 35 second track called “Tamborine Solo,” which is pretty much just that, with the song’s title sung at the end. The song “Bookman Says No” includes a keyboard riff that might have belonged to a Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” had they been insane. Other song titles include “See Carl Sagan Say” and “Jehovah’s Fitness.”
HowWasTheShow’s Bob Longmore selected “This Boat Runs on Happy Faces” for the November HowWasTheShow podcast, and we weren’t quite sure what to make of it then. (I thought the song reminded me of a cross between "Got To Get You Into My Life" by The Beatles and "Fox on the Run" by Sweet.) Hard facts and real information were pretty hard to come by at the time. Now that I’m in possession of the full disc, things are actually less clear than before.
But it’s awesome. And I want to see them play live. Their CD Release at the Kitty Cat Klub on October 18th is the show that HowWasTheShow most regrets missing in 2008. If they ever play again – and their MySpace page makes no guarantees of that - we promise we will not make the mistake of missing them.
Band description from their MySpace:
Flin Flon Bombers is a five-piece psychedelic pop band with members from Saskatchewan and Saint Paul. Harkening back to a time when less was more, Flin Flon Bombers have recorded in anonymity, indulging in the joys of three-part harmonies, catchy melodies, and their B3 organ on a 4-track recorder. On 10.18.2008 Flin Flon Bombers released their debut album entitled "This Boat Runs On Happy Faces" at the Kitty Cat Klub in Minneapolis. "This Boat Runs On Happy Faces" is a 22 track inventory of the Casanova Lounge Recording Company and the formal introduction of the Flin Flon Bombers.