The Survival Code – Hopelessness Of People

Checking out recent single Crawl combined with the potency of previous releases, we declared The Survival Code a band it is so hard for us not to be excited about. That track was the second teaser for the London based outfit’s new album; an intimation alongside its predecessor of something to truly anticipate. Having feverishly devoured the full-length we can announce that Hopelessness Of People not only lives up to the promise offered by its singles but has emerged as one of the year’s major gems.

Formed by Dubliner Gary McGuinness, The Survival Code has bred and earned a rich reputation since emerging late 2011, each release seeing their imaginative rock bred sound openly growing and evolving backed by a live presence which has constantly proven itself a rousing experience. Though numerous musicians have been alongside lead vocalist guitarist McGuinness, it has been his long term link up with drummer/backing vocalist Tom Cook which has been the heart and power of the band. A trio for their acclaimed Matt Hyde (Trivium, Slipknot, Ash) produced 2015 debut album, MMXV, and the subsequently just as striking Broken Strings EP two years later, The Survival Code has slimmed down to just the core duo upon Hopelessness Of People and the band has never sounded more powerful, dynamically bold, and rousing.

With Hyde again producing, Hopelessness Of People takes mere seconds to entice and thrill ears with opener Same Skin. Its initial guitar shared lure is a calm intrigue ridden coaxing which soon flares up with rapacious energy as Cook’s beats court their own infectious trespass of a swing. McGuinness’ vocals are just as captivating, like the sounds a blend of melodic composure with underlying aggression and volatility. Embracing rock in its various shades alongside a twinge of punk irritability and metal bred ferocity, the track and band’s sound soon establishes its inescapable identity though with its tenacious almost stalking hooks and hungry grooves there is a certain Sick Puppies hue to the excellent encounter, a spicing which enjoyable lingers across the whole release in varying degrees.

Crawl is next to snare thick attention, immediately imposing with its senses harrying riffs and formidable rhythmic swing. From its already infectious threat, appetite wrapping grooves and imagination stoking twists combine for a web of contagious enterprise matched by the equally compelling vocals of McGuinness in turn backed by Cook’s potent tones. There is a touch of Coheed & Cambria to the track, a pinch of Adelitas Way too as well as the aforementioned Australians but the song rises to be all The Survival Code. As a single it got us lustful to hear Hopelessness Of People and still does each and every time roaring from within its midst.

A calmer entrance by the following Take It As It Is only brings a mutually eventful slice of melody rich and highly catchy hook loaded alternative nurtured rock where rhythms swing with muscular intent and emotion fuels vocal expression while Anything Goes These Days strolls with emotive tempestuousness in its heart and raw power in its snarly breath. In their individual ways, both songs had the body and imagination bouncing, the first especially with its keenly crafted unpredictability.

One of the album’s early tasters is next, Along The Way a single earlier this year which effortlessly hits the spot whilst leaving a lingering breath which again just draws intrigue and attention the way of the album. Though the track does not have the incendiary dynamics of Crawl, it is a virulent persuasion which again has the body dancing to its whims before Self Medicate wraps thoughts in its emotive balladry and the imagination in a tapestry of creative and vocal intimation. A slow burner compared to its companions within the album, the song just grew by the listen enticing purposeful contributions from hips and vocal chords.

In so many ways the track epitomises the almost deceitful virulence of Hopelessness Of People, quietly nagging away yet openly seducing with its resourceful breeding; a template just as successful behind the decisive enterprise of Not Working. It is another which seems to be a touch subdued compared to other tracks but the truth is clear when from nowhere we found ourselves repeating melodies and a chorus which had burned itself into the memory.

Damn these Survival Code boys are devious and at it again within the smouldering and increasingly fiery and just a bit funky This Time Around. McGuinness and Cook unite to weave a contagion of hooks and melodic grooving as tenacious as the expectations devouring exploits of the song, repeating the feat with new imagination for the quite outstanding and devilishly tempting Too Late and in turn Next Step. Another major favourite here, the second of the two borders on the feral, its metal seeded antics spring grooves which demand subservience and riffs which harass to the point of addiction. Around them, melodic flames and vocal angst roar to add to the undiluted captivation.

The final pair of Integrity and Goodbye proves there is truly no moment within the album which is lightweight in presence and enjoyment. The first has a vocal calm which rests perfectly within the more unevenly tempered air of the song though McGuinness’ delivery has a hint of prickliness to it too while the closing offering is a slice of magnetic rock ‘n’ roll which too mixes hushed aggression with volatile energy whilst casting an infectious wind of melody woven turbulence and emotive exclamation.

Quite simply releases like Hopelessness Of People are the reason our hunger to devour new music is more lustful than ever. It is an appetite which has been rewarded so many times this year alone but few as relentlessly and powerfully as by The Survival Code.

Hopelessness Of People is released Friday 31st August, through Good Deeds Music Ltd.

 https://www.thesurvivalcode.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/thesurvivalcode    https://twitter.com/thesurvivalcode

Pete RingMaster 30/08/2018Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Who Killed Nancy Johnson? – Flat Earth Theory

Having recently checked out their latest single, Dark Horse, and been definitely taken by it, it was a really welcomed treat to be sent over by the band itself the release the song came from. Its creators are UK outfit Who Killed Nancy Johnson?, a​ ​​​Reading-based quartet creating an eventful fusion of punk and rock with post punk imagination. It is a tenacious sound fuelling a new EP in the shape of Flat Earth Theory, four tracks of raw and devilish rock ‘n’ roll which just got under our skin.

Formed in 2015, Who Killed Nancy Johnson? has grown into one increasingly praised and devoured live presence across the south of England. Their debut EP, Cops and Robbers, released early last year only added to their rising reputation, one sure to be energised again by Flat Earth Theory. Musically the band embraces inspirations from the likes of The Stooges, The Ruts, Wire, Magazine, Black Flag, Buzzcocks, The Rezillos, Fugazi, Ash, Killing Joke, Lit, Rival Schools, The Drills, and 3 Colours Red; an array of flavours which if not openly echoed in the band’s individual enterprise certainly adds to its substance.

Flat Earth Theory is an eventful encounter, an affair coincidently echoed in its making with former bassist Paul Anthony leaving the band just before the EP’s mixing stage and preventing the basslines already laid down being used. A mystery bassist saved the day though, Who Killed Nancy Johnson? leaving the studio with four slices of ear grabbing rock ‘n’ roll.

The EP opens with Strip, a song which opens the band’s live show and to rousing success one imagines such its potent impact on Flat Earth Theory. From a dulled clang of guitar, spirit sparking beats launch their bait, Mark Wren whipping up song and appetite alike as Pete Moulton’s guitar continues to linger casting raw strokes. Quickly though the song surges through ears, its rapacious energy and disruptive intent manna to the imagination and capped by the distinctive tones of vocalist Stefan Ball. Old school punk meets post punk devilry, kind of like The Adicts in league with a Fugazi fuelled Gang Of Four, the track is irresistible and for us a must single. It is easy to see why their shows get off to a flyer with the song, its two minutes instinctive punk ‘n’ roll incitement.

The following Alien has a broader rock landscape, alternative and punk merging for a tenacious stroll which teases and lures the listener to one irresistible call of a chorus demanding eager participation. As in the first song, the band casts wicked hooks and anthemic persuasions which manipulate by the second, a great throbbing bassline accentuating their dexterity as the track matches its predecessor in hitting the spot dead centre.

Mouth and Trousers is next up, a more controlled song which almost prowls ears initially even as a rush of riffs crowd them. It calms down further as vocals join the shuffle, rhythms keeping their restraint in place too. There is a whiff of pub rock to the song, a Dr Feelgood breath to its punk ‘n’ roll which brings another potent shade to the EP’s sound and though the track did not ignite the passions as richly as its companions, it had the body bouncing and vocal chords indulging especially through another potent chorus.

The EP is completed by that latest single, Dark Horse. The song is a muscular affair of alternative rock which straight away springs a lure of firm beats and juicy hooks, building on their prowess with appetising grooves and a brooding bassline aligned to almost predacious beats. Recalling bands such as The Motors and Mind Museum, the track dances in the imagination whilst arousing the spirit.

With new recruit Julien Bruinaud completing their line-up on bass, Who Killed Nancy Johnson? are ready to build on their previous success with a real nudge on national attention, the thoroughly enjoyable Flat Earth Theory irrepressibly leading the persuasion so watch this space.

Flat Earth Theory is out now @ https://wknancyj.bandcamp.com/releases

 

https://www.wknancyj.com/     https://www.facebook.com/WhoKilledNancyJohnson/     https://twitter.com/WKNancyJ

Pete RingMaster 20/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Universal Thee – All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

Universal Thee_RingMaster Review

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace is a flirtation which, whilst seducing ears with its pop charm, has the body bouncing and worming around like a slinky. The second album from Scottish alternative popsters Universal Thee brings a smile to the spirit and infectious revelry to the day and whereas their critically acclaimed debut album had ears and voices seriously enticed its potential has simply been blossomed to new refreshing heights in its successor.

Formed in 2010 as a trio with “a faulty Macbook for a drummer”, Edinburgh hailing Universal Thee first took their live steps two years later with an actual drummer. It was a show which had a low-key attendance to say the least but within two years the band was sparking really sparking eager attention, with first album Back to Earth at the forefront of the new thrust in their emergence. Since then their stature has only ascended, shows supporting the likes of Ded Rabbit and an appearance on the pyramid stage at the Kelburn Garden Party potent successes enhancing further their live reputation. Such the magnetic and contagious prowess of All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, 2016 is looking like being another successful time, possibly the moment when the band’s individual sound and presence is grabbed by new and broader spotlights.

Led by the united vocal enticement of husband and wife, James and Lisa Russell, the Universal Thee has drawn references to the likes of Ash, Pixies, Weezer, and Queens of the Stone Age; they amongst many inspirations to the band as a whole and individually. There is also, by coincidence one suspects, an eighties new wave/indie pop scent to their music which reminds of bands like The Chefs, Girls At Our Best, and maybe to a lesser extent The Passions and The Chesterfields. As shown straight away with opener Why, they are all just hues to something distinct to Universal Thee.

art_RingMaster ReviewThe first song swiftly jangles in ears with alluring elegance as the beats of drummer Matt Grieve provide a feistier touch. The song soon strolls along with a fuzzy air to the melodies of guitarists Robin Spivey and James Russell whilst the bass of Andrew Perrie brings a delicious almost groaning temper to the radiance around it. The blend of James and Lisa Russell is another key element in its persuasion, their union carrying a great essence of discord which just seals the deal for ears.

Unashamedly catchy, the great start provided by the first song is continued and surpassed a little by the second. Keep Falling adds a grungy texture to its enticement whilst the bass courts a post punk appeal within a quickly captivating Weezer-esque saunter. Its hooks are as keen and inescapable as its melodic romancing and boisterous energy, a creative weave more than matched by the band’s brilliant latest single Speaker. The mellow but lively vocals from both the Russells, leads a swinging almost mischievous tempting that instantly seduces ears and feet. That earlier mentioned eighties new wave pop colouring is a rich essence to songwriting which also openly draws on the influence of Frank Black, creating a proposition easy to suspect that the Pixies man would be proud to claim as his own.

Xang is a mellower but still energetic proposal next, its shadow lined air and character a slightly melancholic and evocative caress framed by more forceful rhythms whilst Lost at Sea glides through ears with a heavier and grittier breath to its punk infused pop. Both songs keep an already happy appetite fulfilled if without, and maybe expectantly, matching their glorious predecessors, a success definitely achieved by the outstanding Hey. With tenaciously anthemic rhythms and a fiery glaze to its pop ‘n’ roll, the song is certain single material with all the addictive hooks and qualities needed. Quaint and ballsy simultaneously, the track has the body leaping to its compelling creative throes before Hamlet 3 hits the same sweet spot with its own unique Teenage Fanclub does pop punk like canter. The song simply epitomises the growth in the band’s craft and sound without any lessening of their invasive pop ingenuity and it is impossible not to be fully involved in voice and hips with the increasingly rousing encounter.

A calmer climate washes over the senses as Sail Away floats into view, though rhythmically it offers great agitated bait around which vocals and melodies provide a familiar yet indefinable lure. A romancing which breeds more volatile moments within its persistent smooch, the enthralling hug makes way for more galvanic pop ‘n’ roll in the irresistible shape of Hounds, it in turn leaving ears to the pop fascination of closing track Light On, two tracks ensuring album and emotions are left on the same high they started with through song one.

Universal Thee have the great knack of creating something you feel you already know but then you only come across exciting surprise after surprise whilst being infested with pop music to get greedy over. All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace is the sign of a band ready to step into the intensive recognition of national awareness and more; a success hard to see evading the quintet for much longer.

All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace is available from February 19th whilst the single Speaker is out now, both via Eventual Heirs Records.

https://www.facebook.com/universalthee  https://twitter.com/universalthee   http://universalthee.com

Pete RingMaster 18/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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My Cruel Goro – Self Titled EP

My Cruel Goro_RingMaster Review

Since its emergence a couple of weeks or so back, the debut EP from My Cruel Goro and its sound, has lured comparisons to bands as varied as The Clash, The Stranglers, and The Jam to the likes of Ash, Arctic Monkeys, The Fratellis, The Hives, the Libertines, Dinosaur Jr., and Weezer. For us the self-titled release brings a weave of Asylums meets Birdland meets New Bomb Turks to the table. That diversity across all references though is because primarily it is hard to pin down the My Cruel Goro sound; it seems bred from varied decades and through a vat of inspirations but with no particularly defined evidence to support any claim, everything just teasing whispers in something quite original.

cover_RingMaster Review     Hailing from Italy, My Cruel Goro is a currently Reykjavík in Iceland based trio which formed in 2014. Vocalist/guitarist Andrea Maraschi and bassist Andrea Marcellini had already been making music together for the previous nine or so years, meeting through a mutual friend, before My Cruel Goro rose from the ashes of their previous project, its demise according to Marcellini because “We couldn’t find reliable musicians to form a proper group with a stable line-up.” Then they met and linked up with drummer Tommaso Adanti, from whence My Cruel Goro stepped forward with now their new EP an introduction to broader awaiting appetites for their raw and virulent rock ‘n’ roll.

It opens with Clash and an instant blaze of enticing riffs and probing beats. A single breath of a ‘pause’ brings the throbbing tones of the bass in before the band strolls and swaggers with indie revelry, thick guitar incitement, and mischievous electronic enterprise. The song is a tapestry of fuzzy hues and blustery flavours colluding in a punk ‘n’ roll roar which is as creatively unpredictable and agitated as it is contagiously rousing.

Next up is Crapford, a song quickly endearing itself to ears and appetite with a wonderful opening melodic hook which is as Buzzcocks like as you can get without a touch of stealing. With tangy bass bait and crisp beats alongside, it is a gripping start which only gets stronger as warmer flowing vocals and pop punk hues add to the texture and richness of the song. As its predecessor, if without the final raucous spark, the track is an addictive anthem to get fully involved in before Glue Buzz takes over with its new wave meets garage rock devilry. A perpetual bounce with seventies punk attitude and tone, as well as a horde of spiky hooks, infectious swings, and a noise rock centre which simply transfixes as it meanders and evolves towards its scuzzy atmospheric climax, the song is a glorious end to a striking and thoroughly enjoyable stomp.

It is of course early days but if their first EP is the sign of things to come, My Cruel Goro could be making a hefty impact on rock ‘n’ roll ahead.

The My Cruel Goro EP is out now via Rebel Waltz Records as a free download at the My Cruel Goro Bandcamp.

https://www.facebook.com/mycruelgoro

Pete RingMaster 05/10/2105

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Post Adolescence – Goodbye from the Future

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As impressive a debut and introduction that it was, the album My Nothing from US pop rockers Post Adolescence was as much potential as it was substance. Certainly the release opened up a fresh world from the band to be explored which in turn welcomed a soaking of deserved attention from certainly the underground media. It easily awoke a keen appetite in fans too for its fusion of Brit pop, post punk, and fiery melodic rock; the band finding themselves regulars on underground radio shows including ours. You can only feel though that what came before will pale against the response to the band’s recently released second album Goodbye from the Future, an encounter which realises all the promise of its predecessor and so much more. Consisting of seven thumping incitements it ripples with a maturity and confidence which leaves anything else the band has offered in the shade, offering pop infused rock ‘n’ roll of the highest compelling order to bring another sparkling highlight in the year.

The Seattle quartet seem to have taken time to hone and explore their already captivating sound over the four years between releases, resulting in as stated that maturer craft and invention to their virulent contagiousness described as songs. Formed around 2008, the band employed influences from the likes of Placebo, Manic Street Preachers, Ash, Buzzcocks, and Suede into their own imaginative songwriting and the new release again openly shows their inspirations but within a more distinctive voice to their sound. Led by the ever emotive and passionate tones of guitarist Johnny Straube, his Brian Molko like vocal warble nestling even more comfortably within the resourceful landscape of colourful sound crafted by his stringed prowess alongside the equally impressive skills of guitarist/keyboardist Adrian Garver, drummer Brian McCrossen, and bassist Gar Hooker (who since the album recording has left to be replaced by  Siobhan McCloskey), Post Adolescence has grown into a aggressively potent protagonist for ears and imagination. There is a new spark and flame to the band, and a fiercer almost punk like energy which gives life to each song as evidenced from the first moment.

Opener Asexual takes mere seconds to intrigue and stoke up an eager appetite as its initial blaze of caustic guitar comes with almost Post Adolescence - Goodbye from the Future Album Artbrawling like intent. The immediate urgency kicks up another gear as thumping rhythms batter the ear and riffs lick their lips with stronger intensity. With infectious twists and hooks playing around the distinctive vocals of Straube, the track continues to stomp with punk mischief before throwing in another curveball through a mouthwatering lure of magnetic electro inspired keys. Additional discord and warped melodies also flavour its unrelenting stride as the song makes a brilliant start to the release, an incendiary fuse to inventive revelry to come.

The following Everybody’s Sober Nowadays is given a big task to match its predecessor but it does so with individual ease, its more controlled attack and purposeful lyrical incitement swiftly captivating thoughts as keys and guitars cast a creative web to take care of ears. The song has a thick body of sound but each element is allowed clarity to add their light and shadows, the bass of McCloskey especially an appealing cloud against the more constrained rhythms of McCrossen and the fire pit of sonic endeavour and melodic intrigue offered by guitars and keys. Melancholic with the heaviest shadows, it continues the impressive flight of the album before making way for the title track where a caress of guitar coats ears first before the bass roams emotively around the emerging melodic and vocal narrative. The strongly appealing song is a tender and reflective proposition which, as all songs, is unafraid to open up its lyrical heart and show it is looking ahead with hope from within darker corners, evidencing a description of the album by Straube, “Goodbye from the Future is a final word to all the relationships from past songs, a message that won’t occupy his thoughts anymore. It’s about moving on.”

Recent single Hindsight steps up next, instantly treating ears to an electronic web as Straube’s voice opens the entrance to another sinewed proposition of honest riffs and mesmeric melodies within a raucously catchy embrace. As with the music there is a richer antagonistic edge to his delivery which brings a new potent character to sound and songs, whilst in this particular romp a devilish pop punk element is at large to create a presence which swings somewhere between Top Buzzer and Fall Out Boy. It is a masterful persuasion which ripples with ingenuity; swiping hooks, seductive harmonies, and raw passion all adding to the tenacious triumph.

The defiance soaked Fuck Off strolls in next, its tidy and keen gait making another swift persuasion if without sparking the same depth of passion for its bounty as other songs on the release. Once again there is a noticeable pop punk/power pop element to the easily pleasing stomp, a song which goes without the originality which marks the rest of the proposition and marks out the delicious Blindsighted. To be honest there is a familiarity to the glorious breeze of melodic seducing with envelops imagination and emotions too, but it only brings richer spice to the synth pop spawned beauty. It is a fascinating and irresistible weave of evocative melodic colours and sonically sculpted hues within a spellbinding web of bracing textures and mellow elegance. The best song on Goodbye from the Future it almost alone shows the new plateau Post Adolescence walks.

The album is concluded with What You Would Call Socialism (I Would Call Civilization), a final emotionally anthemic, musically enthralling dance to spark another wave of unbridled satisfaction. A sturdy yet radiant adventure with more of the unpredictable and eagerly bristling invention which has emerged in the band’s song writing and sound, the track is an exciting finale to a thoroughly impressive and thrilling release. Post Adolescence has graduated from a strong enjoyment into a mouthwatering and breath-taking proposition; it was on the cards with their first album but expectations have been left looking pretty feeble by the brilliance of Goodbye from the Future, and you still feel it is only a step in something even greater to come.

Goodbye from the Future is available now @ http://postadolescence.bandcamp.com/album/goodbye-from-the-future

http://www.postadolescence.com/

9/10

RingMaster 18/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Radio Friendlies -There Is No Radio Friendlies EP

Just when you thought the warmth of summer was over Dublin band Radio Friendlies arrive to unleash a new inviting heat with their excellent new EP There Is No Radio Friendlies. Consisting of four sizzling and vibrant songs, the release is an erupting sunspot in the sky of indie pop to leave one thrilled and energised.

Consisting of Stevin King (vocals/guitar), Dara Coleman (drums/backing vocals), and Kevin Keane (bass/backing vocals), the band has been on a steady rise the past year or so, and a climb which with the release of their new EP on September 28th, one can only see an acceleration to. The band takes its inspirations from the likes of Ash, The Pixies, Foo Fighters, The Beatles and Nirvana, though many more spring to mind as the songs romp across the ear. One year ago debut EP Signs was released, its arrival well received by fans and media alike, as well as garnering a great interest and download success in Mexico. Shows at venues like Dublin’s Academy 2, The Crawdaddy, Whelans-Live, The King Kong Club in The Village, and An Brog in Cork City, as well as impressive festival appearances including Cube Fest, Duisigh Festival, and Upload Festival, has only elevated their stock, but one feels with There Is No Radio Friendlies, wider recognition is surely on the near horizon.

All The Girls is the first song to engage the ear, its initial guitar strokes bursting into an energised stroll through to the heart. It is an infection which only takes a few moments to begin its magnetic pull with blazing guitar sonics and smart harmonies lighting the air. It is not a song which manages to venture into a full stomp, its pace reserved but openly keen, yet the song has one feeling charged and locked in a firm and heated embrace. Well crafted and imaginative, the band mixing up its stroll in pace and ideas nicely, the song has one licking lips for what is to follow.

What does step up to share their charms is even more impressive, almost putting the opener in the shade. Cry is a definite Weezer sounding love affair for the ear. Gentle and respectful, the track has a shadowed tone which certainly points to that Pixies influence, the melodies having that Frank Black created discord which fires up the passions. Released as the lead single from the EP a few weeks ago, the song is an open invitation impossible to refuse let alone ignore; its body a delicious dessert of irresistible melodic power pop.

Next up Dead brings a punk attitude to the table, its feisty and intimidating yet again controlled air, a stirring and compelling companion for the ear. The thumping pulse of the track gets the blood pumping faster whilst the again melodic might of the band just leaves one riveted. Reminding a little of Hagfish, the song is another triumph to set the soul aflame and bring the voice into play.

The closing Let’s Go, Explode, is the best of the lot. Another pop punk gem likes its predecessor, the track has a snarl to it somewhat absent elsewhere, its riotous heart ready to party and leave only debris in its wake. With an ear blistering groove, group shouts, and juicy hooks splicing the air like sabres, the track is aural excellence, your best friend from its first sonic handshake. Like a fusion of Janes Addiction, The Super Happy Fun Club, and Nerf Herder, it simply brings the fullest pleasure and an inciteful invigorating energy.

The There Is No Radio Friendlies EP is outstanding, the proof that pop punk, power pop, or indie pop, whatever you wish to call the style of sound of the band, is still not only one irresistible taste when at its best but has one exciting new flavour to make the heart drool called Radio Friendlies.

http://radiofriendlies.com/

http://radiofriendlies.bandcamp.com/releases

RingMaster 26/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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