The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes (Cover Artwork)

The Blood Brothers

The Blood Brothers: Young MachetesYoung Machetes (2006)

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

With Young Machetes, the Blood Brothers may have officially proved that album after album, they will consistently bring challenging, innovative thoughts to the table that actually come out on the other end as awfully tight, intense and enjoyable songs. What this tends to mean is hyperactive, jagg.
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With Young Machetes, the Blood Brothers may have officially proved that album after album, they will consistently bring challenging, innovative thoughts to the table that actually come out on the other end as awfully tight, intense and enjoyable songs.

What this tends to mean is hyperactive, jagged, noisy fits of chaos that are yet always under the band's control. None proved it further than 2004's Crimes, which simultaneously featured some of the band's most ambitious and accessible songs (i.e. "Love Rhymes with Hideous Car Wreck). It's quite an amazing thought that the band had to tone it down from 2003's Burn, Piano Island, Burn simply after realizing that that album's songs were so complex, they were challenging to the band to play them live. Thus you have Crime's restraint and more simple yet greatly effective songwriting. However, some sort of nostalgic tick must have burrowed beneath the band's collective skin, because Young Machetes contains some of the Blood Brothers' most downright intense and complex moments in their career -- even more so than Burn.

First, however, this intensity is conveyed in mid-tempo, caterwaul car crashes, like opener "Set Fire to Face on Fire." The Blood Brothers have always been that rare band that could repeat the song title -- or at least, a noticeable portion of it -- ad nauseam and avoid it sounding even remotely cheesy ("Burn, Piano Island, Burn," "USA Nails," "Crimes"), and they take full advantage of that smug swagger here as well as tracks like "Camouflage, Camouflage," "Vital Beach," "Spit Shine Your Black Clouds," "Rat Rider," and "Huge Gold AK-47." Perhaps this is due to their absolutely fierce, unrelenting intensity -- the band has always been aggressive in a spastic manner, and that's part of what keeps them far, far from any chance of being filed under a straight hardcore punk heading.

We're already getting off track here. In "Fire," multiple guitar tracks collide and tear forth, while Mark Gajadhar sounds like he's preparing for his own increasing explosion on the percussion. The noticeably darker tone continues on "We Ride Skeletal Lightning," charged by Johnny Whitney's high-pitched wail and a spectacularly mindblowing tempo change in its last minute. Whitney's intention in the last several years was to challenge himself vocally, and on Machetes, it definitely shows. His would be particularly alienating to the untrained ear on the first single, the bouncy "Lazer Life," and he actually manages to match the manic quality of the cabaret-like piano that's turned up in the sudden spasm towards the end. It's an absolutely wonderful, compelling song overall though, and offers a welcome alteration in the mood.

The restraint of Crimes certainly comes into play a few times, but it's easy to embrace as a breather is often needed. "Camouflage, Camouflage" is stretched out to nearly 5 minutes but in a fine fashion with its latter section slowing down ever so attentively. Before "1, 2, 3, 4 Guitars" launches into its closing frenzy it's dependent upon a slower, more methodical base. "Street Wars, Exotic Foxholes" is a good and solid, light 5:31 stomp.

The fourth fifth of the album is really where things become an absolute barrage of harsh audio. The band finds an energy like no other, capturing their youthful exuberance and yet beating it with instrument tracks that seem to race each other through the durations of "Nausea Shreds Yr Head" and "Rat Rider." It's as if the apocalypse is rapidly approaching and the band is playing to beat it. However, earlier on there's a few numbing fits of interlacing screams; "You're the Dream Unicorn" finds Whitney and Jordan Blilie trading off rapid, spitfire lines in the chorus, backed by pounding drums and guitars played by wrists that could only belong to androids.

Lyrically, it felt as though Crimes was still abstract, but that time around, carefully so. That type of mindset carries itself on Machetes, making cautious, deliberate mockeries of some of society's more questionable practices: redundancy, excessiveness, indulgent industrialization, and corporate ladder climbing ambition, and nearly always through metaphorical, random scenarios strewn together to the point of both humor ("Still the seagulls mutter, 'What'cha doing with your life?'") and inconceivability ("My spine's a limousine that drives all night but never goes anywhere").

The Blood Brothers' Young Machetes is the band's longest album at just over 50 minutes, but they're smart to have waited this long to hit that eclipse -- they're strong enough to write 15 songs that command the listener's attention for nearly every second. Unlike this review, it's long, but not longwinded. Only getting more and more cynical with age, certainly as time goes by there is absolutely no compromising their songwriting and quest for complex, arty conveyances of societal frustration. Few other acts can pull in some of their early career traits that were so desirable to begin with and fully avoid making it sound like rehashing, but with Young Machetes this and more is accomplished. No question, one of the band's top efforts and one of the year's best overall; highly recommended.

Young Machetes


People who liked this also liked:
The Blood Brothers - Burn Piano Island, BurnAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseAt The Drive-In - Relationship Of CommandThe Blood Brothers - CrimesRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Against Me! - As The Eternal CowboyThe Clash - London CallingBrand New - The Devil and God Are Raging Inside MeThe Mars Volta - Amputechture

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Greensmith (March 23, 2012)

"Set Fire to the Face on Fire" Everything about that song is perfect. From the melody to the lyrics to the title.

GlassPipeMurder (January 20, 2009)

best album.

pob (October 23, 2007)

Just signed-up to this site after stumbling across it via a link about the J Church chap... RIP!
After reading the comments below, there seems to be a bit if a mixed response to the Blood Brothers - if you're on here because you're wondering what they're like - then don't delay, go get one of their albums today (and buy it, don't download it!).
Ignore all of the bullshit attempts to classify them with fatuous genres, 'sub-genres', 'post-other-genres' and 'sub-post-other-genres-crossed-with-yet-more-genres'.... GOD that shit makes me claw at my screen!
They rock - if you want something a bit different, if you're tired of everybody claiming that they're 'punk' or 'hardcore' or 'emo' with their poppy video-friendly empty crap, or if you think you're really 'out there' yet strangely your Mum keeps coming into your bedroom telling you that she, 'Quite liked that CD you were playing at far too loud a volume, what are they called again? Could you put it on my ipod for me darling?' - then the Blood Brothers are for you.
If the stuff you listen to is always playing on cable channels like Kerrang, MTV2, Scuzz and whatever channels they have in Yankland... then you might be a tad scared of the Brothers at first... but stick with it and soon enough you'll be throwing out all of your current CDs because you'll realise just how trite they are.
Yes - some of the emo-kids are jumping on the Brothers quicker than you can say 'bandwagon' but hey, just because they're silly doesn't mean they can't like good music, and yeah some of them are just jumping-on to absorb some of their cool, but the truth is, the Blood Brothers ARE cool, they don't care, they scream like little girls and strutt around as camp as christmas but they rock and to cap it all off this album is co-produced by Guy Picciotto... I mean, what more do you want, Tim Harrington to deliver the CD to you safely nestled in his beard whilst riding atop of Steve Albini's shoulders? Exactly... go buy it now!

GlassPipeMurder (March 21, 2007)

Ok it's grown on me. And although the faster songs like Rat Rider, Huge Gold AK-47, Laser Life, and Nausea Shreds Yr Head are still probably my favorites, Spit Shine Your Black Clouds and Lift the Veil, Kiss the Tank are really good too, the latter of which is amazing. Still don't care for Giant Swan though...not the best ending in my opinion.

radicalwhore (February 4, 2007)

the blood brothers are truly a unique and great band. In my opinion they have some of the greates lyrics ever sung by anyone. This album is one of the most inovative ever and it's my pic for best of the year. And if you don't like them you better not say my chemical romance or fall out boy is better, because then you should be shot.

rns_93 (January 19, 2007)

It's simple: Either people hate The Blood Brothers, or they love them. It's the same thing with most bands really... the BB are one of my favourite bands (yes, I live in a place where they use Queen's English. NOT American. So for those who try to criticise over petty matter just because we don't have similar opinions, you can shut up and go die.) and Young Machetes is why. It's a good mixture from Burn Piano Island, Burn and their older CDs (like March on Electric Children) and with Crimes. aka Brilliance. To me. The vocals can be annoying, but I've gotten used to them. Laser Life = awesome.

GlassPipeMurder (December 20, 2006)

ok, i listened through again and stand by my original score. it was a little better this time, but it drags so much from Spit Shine Your Black Clouds through Lift the Veil Kiss the Tank, and the two last songs charting in at over 11 minutes combined are really dragged out and boring . luckily there are still good tracks like Set FIre to the Face on Fire, Laser Life, and Johnny Ripper.

GlassPipeMurder (December 20, 2006)

Eh...first listen was a let down. Too many high pitched shrieks and slow songs, not enough complex, breakneck post-hardcore. I'll give it some more listens, but I doubt anything will top Burn Piano Island, Burn.

Anonymous (December 12, 2006)

Ah the blood brothers.A love them or hate them band.I love their work though BPIB is their best album to date.This is pretty good.Don't trash them simply because you cannot tolerate something weird and different than what the music scene is churning out now.Their music grows on you with repeat listens.

eddielee4 (December 12, 2006)

Ah the blood brothers.A love them or hate them band.I love their work though BPIB is their best album to date.This is pretty good.Don't trash them simply because you cannot tolerate something weird and different than what the music scene is churning out now.Their music grows on you with repeat listens.

Anonymous (November 5, 2006)

ok. when i first heard these guys with coheed i was pissed. but the more i listened i came to love it. its an aquired taste you just have to give it a chance and open your mind a little. Yes Johnney whitney's voice is annoying but once you get the music you really start to appreciate the vocals. this band is the fucking shit and I was not let down.

Anonymous (October 24, 2006)

wow a lot of you people are retarded.

first off, the blood brothers are NOT following any trend at all, for example, "spaz core" or whatever the fuck you called it. wake up and realize that the basis of their music hasn't changed since they were SIXTEEN. this band existed when the members were SIXTEEN. TEN god damn years ago.

second of all, to the moron who posted to section from kiss the tank, those lyrics are not emo AT ALL. you're just too much of a dumbass to look past the surface. their lyrics are completely genius.

so basically, their lyrics and singing are completely different from any other band. their music is a form of art. if you don't like it, tough shit. go listen to whatever generic indie band you like, or whatever lame hardcore band you like.

Anonymous (October 21, 2006)

burn piano and crimes= better but i still dig the new experimentaion

bah bah bah i dont like this experimental genre of stuff
i dont like new..........ewwwwwwwwwww

honestly shut the hell up
living a life without new sucks, trust me
there is an uncharted sea within all of us, fucking explore it

GreenVandal (October 16, 2006)

TV on the Radio and The Blood Brothers are two of my favorite bands. Eat that!

Anonymous (October 15, 2006)

I'd rather shove poop logs in my ears than listen to this.

Anonymous (October 14, 2006)

what is this crap?? why would anyone want to create music that doesnt sound like NOFX? GOD HELP US

Anonymous (October 14, 2006)

This should spark some debate:
Half the people on this site will like this. The other half will like TV on the Radio.
I'm glad to be from the second camp.

benz (October 13, 2006)

He likes it!


SilentStorms (October 13, 2006)

Actually they probably draw from more influences, but those two are very apparent.

SilentStorms (October 13, 2006)

Fear Before The March Of Flames draws from only 2 influences: The Blood Brothers and Botch. Both those bands are better than Fear because they were original first. I love Fear, but to dis the BB is just stupid. If you think they're not punk enough is to say you don't believe in evolution. Go listen to The Cramps and The Sex Pistols and Bad Religion if you can't deal with it. Music evolves fuckfaces. Considering the amount of (sorry to use the term) emo-violence out there, it's obvious that hardcore/punk is heading in a new direction. Either hate the evolution or stick to your simple "as in SIMPLE" punk roots. But if you don't like it then that's ok. But to put it down because it's not "punk" is pretentious and insulting. Unless you're Christian and believe that God created everything. Then you need to deal with that first.

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

Comparing Fear to The Blood Brothers?

You really are a fucking moron, dear sir. Without the Blood Brothers, there wouldn't even be Fear: they wouldn't have a band to do shitty imitations of. The new Fear cd sounds like someone farting ruthlessly into a mic and mauling it with protools.

And this isn't punk, nor are half the people that read this site going to recognize how superior it is to 90% of their generation's rock music =(

Anonymous (October 12, 2006)

This band sucks. So fucking overrated!

Anonymous (October 12, 2006)

The Blood Brothers make terrible music. Im sorry ive tried, but i just cant listen to them.

Anonymous (October 12, 2006)

fear before and blood brothers both lack talent.

crazytoledo (October 12, 2006)

*isn't working for me*

crazytoledo (October 12, 2006)

You do realize I said I was comparing the bands based on their latest albums. I didn't really care for this, the Always Open Mouth is one of my year's favorite albums. Maybe the older Blood Brothers is better, which is what a lot of you are saying, but this album is working for me.

Anonymous (October 12, 2006)

crazy toledo ur retarted, the blood brothers are fbtmof's biggest influence

Anonymous (October 12, 2006)

org core sucks
dance, screamo, emo, spazz, metalcore all this is so boring and lacks anything I love about punk and hardcore

GreenVandal (October 12, 2006)

Sorry. I hate orgcore. Most people seem to dislike this. The world remains balanced and the internet keeps marching forward.

burningfeeetman (October 12, 2006)

The best album to come out from anybody in a while.

Anonymous (October 11, 2006)

i agree with the last guy.

joeg (October 11, 2006)

artcore...spazzcore...dance screamo....keep em coming. too bad they're all synonymous for unlistenable.

Anonymous (October 11, 2006)

somebody pooped in my ears.

Anonymous (October 11, 2006)

better yet: fight fire with kids on fire

colin (October 11, 2006)

Wait, I'm confused. Is this the new Atreyu album?

i can't tell if you're being sarcastic or retarded. either way it's one of the best anti-war songs i've heard in awhile.

BrendanKelly (October 11, 2006)

CrazyToledo = god

Scruffy (October 11, 2006)

"Dress my cropse up in a low-cut
Drizzle lipstick on my charred
French kiss.
Dip my severed jaw in cheap cologne,
push-up bras dangling from
snapped elbows.

But death's just death no matter
how you dress it up."

Wait, I'm confused. Is this the new Atreyu album?

salsashark (October 11, 2006)

"latest Jawbreaker clone"

I can't tell if this is just a crack on Orgcore, or an actual comment. If it's the first, there's no need to talk shit on a good band because someone insulted the one you like. If it's not, please point me in the direction of some new "Jawbreaker clones."

colin (October 11, 2006)

the lyrics on this were said to be more free-association, but songs like "lift the veil, kiss the tank" (one of my favorites) are absolutely brilliant as far as painting these totally fucked up images in your head.

"Dress my cropse up in a low-cut
Drizzle lipstick on my charred
French kiss.
Dip my severed jaw in cheap cologne,
push-up bras dangling from
snapped elbows.

But death's just death no matter
how you dress it up."

GreenVandal (October 11, 2006)

CrazyToledo, do you ever stop spewing retarded bullshit? That was insulting. Fear Before the March of Flames couldn't carry this bands velvet lined cape.

This record is really good. BPIB is better, and Crimes is more focused and thematically unified, but this one has moments of flat out brilliance. Both vocalists are supremely talented, it just takes a while to click. Mr. Whitney always reminds me of James Brown if he weighed 50 lbs. and shrieked like a banshee every now and then.

The rhythm section here is phenomenal (as always) and the guitar does its job: being noisy as fuck. Unlike most pretentioues wannabe art damaged bands, these guys actually have something to say and really don't care who gets it and who doesn't. If you want to try to reaffirm you masculinity or gain some punk points by bashing a band that does everything in their power to carve out their own unique sound...well, thats your call and your loss. It certianly beats the fuck out of the latest Jawbreaker clone.

Not-To-Regret (October 11, 2006)

From what i've heard of this band, it's too messy and I don't like the vocals. It's just not my bag, but my best friend loves them. I suppose I should give piano island a chance before completly dismissing them.

Archangel (October 11, 2006)

crazytoledo, I'm so sorry for your loss.

Your hearing loss.

sfbarker (October 11, 2006)

I dug the shit out of Burn Piano Island Burn, but this album is weak. If the discography of The Blood Brothers was compared to someone experiencing a sex change, Burn Piano Island Burn would be after the breast had been grown (the vocals are effeminate) but the balls were still intact (the music was brutal). This album is post-op. There is no balls. This is just pussy music with girly screaming over it. I was bummed out to no end after streaming this.

Try again dudes.

colin (October 11, 2006)

crazytoledo i am convinced you know nothing

shiyasmomma (October 11, 2006)

Hands down best album of the year for me. Every song has it's own amazing catchiness... Excellent!

crazytoledo (October 11, 2006)

Pssh, crappy formatting.

Anyways, FBTMOF could wipe the floor with the Blood Brothers, going by each of those band's recent releases.

crazytoledo (October 11, 2006)

trash/art-core is...fear before the march of flames

Fear Before the March of Flames >< /b> Blood Brothers

Anonymous (October 11, 2006)

Did someone say sass-core?


Anonymous (October 11, 2006)

Brilliant album... Its a better than crimes and on par with burn, piano island, burn....

shanholtzer (October 11, 2006)

"Good album to listen to while cleaning your room. I'll give it that.


I traded rooms with a roomate and have been cleaning/unpacking/putting shit together and all i've listened to is this and Minus The Bear's "Highly Refined Pirates"

Anonymous (October 11, 2006)

trash/art-core is...fear before the march of flames

this is not. this is like dance screamo. I can see how the lyrics could be seen as pretentious at time, but at others, they're poignant, even touching. referring to their lyrics in general - not just this cd.

it's not even spaz rock. I found myself predicting most of what was going to happen on this cd; I don't think they intended it that way. songs like "laser life" and "you're the dream unicorn!" really showcase how talented they are.

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

The only problem I have with this record is that Jordan doesn't have nearly enough time in the spotlight. As much as I love Johnny's voice, Jordan's is equally great and unique in its own right.

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

worst excuse for a band ever.... trash/art-core bullshit... lets all play our shit out of tune at different paces while our singers sound like dying babies... uggg...

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

great album, ooo bad review tho

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

Incredible record.

stevejonestherealbones (October 10, 2006)

i always thought this is one of the bands that got a good response on here

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

stevejonestherealbones (October 10, 2006)

the blood brothers got alot more bass sexy on this album (i think havent listend to them in a bit) i really like it

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

Cheesetits (October 10, 2006)

I thought people hated this band around here, this is weird....oh well, I'm stoked with the good response, I need to get this.

feeeding5000 (October 10, 2006)

We need to make room on the 'Org for real powerviolence, dammit!

carstens (October 10, 2006)

I Loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove this band.

TheMike (October 10, 2006)

Somehow before me said that they love the music, but not the vocals. That's my opinion as well.

wyzo (October 10, 2006)

"I dig this band, but I hate their audience, which seem to be for the most part a bunch of "look-at-me-I'm-weird" art-damaged pretentious fucks."

junkies and teen hobos need 'heroes' too.

I never really liked their early records, too much posture and abstraction, but crimes, and this one are pretty good listening.


WainscottRockCity (October 10, 2006)

I like this better than Crimes. The first half up until "Kiss the Tank" is amazing: diverse, aggresive and surprisingly catchy at times. After that there are several good songs, but it kinda blends together and I got a bit worn out by then.

skaboom (October 10, 2006)

Yes, I meant Jordan. I was skimming through the review as I typed that, and Mark's name was immediately before Johnny's, so I stupidly mixed up the names. Whoops. Jordan doesn't do enough solo singing.

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

"oh-c'mon, where the fuck is the RX-Bandits review?
can we stop catering the "pride" fueled youth "jams" for...I dunno, a month. just to cleanse this space thats all."

The review of the new Rx Bandits album has been out for awhile. They sold the album at their shows well before the release date, so somebody already got it and reviewed it.

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

I dig this band, but I hate their audience, which seem to be for the most part a bunch of "look-at-me-I'm-weird" art-damaged pretentious fucks.

m-oo (October 10, 2006)

Good album to listen to while cleaning your room. I'll give it that.


Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

who the fuck is mark? i think you meant jordan.

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

You need to let the vocals grow on you - start with burn piano island burn, then crimes, then this, then march on.

It'll click.

colin (October 10, 2006)

this is a band people either love or hate and that's fine, but the idiot that said the blood brothers are in some "new spaz core trend" obviously doesn't realize they've been around awhile, which is pretty funny.

still it's a stellar fucking record.

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

"Most annoying & overrated band within this new stupid-ass "spaz-core" trend.


here's the part where somebody tells you that the Blood Brothers have been around for almost 10 years (since '97), and you should shut the fuck up if you don't know what you're talking about.


skaboom (October 10, 2006)

My only complaint is Mark doesn't seem to do much lead vocals. It's either Johnny solo or both of them singing together.

baseball (October 10, 2006)

the music always keeps me interested but i can't stand the vocals

HeresLookinAtYou (October 10, 2006)

Very awesome

epoch (October 10, 2006)

Most annoying & overrated band within this new stupid-ass "spaz-core" trend.


Scruffy (October 10, 2006)

I won't make fun of this until I hear it-because they change from album to album, and it may not suck-but you know I want to.

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

fuck these guys, long live coheed. hahahahaha

crazytoledo (October 10, 2006)

Those vocals got to my neveres at first...I still have no idea if this will grow on me, if I'm gonna not like it or if I'm even gonna listen to it ever again. Meh.

etwiels88 (October 10, 2006)

Looking forward to hearing this. Blood Brothers have always been worthwhile.

sirens (October 10, 2006)

top 10 worst of the year.

mattp330 (October 10, 2006)

this albums awesome, and to the guy below, the rx bandits review has already been posted

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)


thirtyseconds (October 10, 2006)

Guy below me:

Totally agree. When I first heard these I expected to be blown away; but found them to be fucking shite. Actually, that's unfair, they're not fucking shite, I just don't like them. Baaaaaaaaad vocals.

Osloboditelj (October 10, 2006)

From every review I've read, this sounds like it should be something I like, but I just can't get into it. I think it's those godawful vocals.

shanholtzer (October 10, 2006)

but this doesn't sound anything like the lawrence arms

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

we are weird we are hard we are boring
man DEVO Records are soooo cool

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

deserves a ten, at least a nine.

iamgay69 (October 10, 2006)

This album is so fuckin sick. One of the best releases this year.

steveman (October 10, 2006)

Definetly love this album.

Great review as well

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

oh-c'mon, where the fuck is the RX-Bandits review?
can we stop catering the "pride" fueled youth "jams" for...I dunno, a month. just to cleanse this space thats all.

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

I love the huge drums on this album.


colin (October 10, 2006)

this album is fucking AMAZING. AMAZING.

sickboi (October 10, 2006)

This album is like some weird mix of indie rock meets Fugazi meets hardcore. I like it. (and I generally don't care for this band)

Also, has "Set Fire to Face on Fire" been used in a commercial or anything? I coulda swore I've heard it on one or a movie preview or something...

american_666_jesus (October 10, 2006)

The only thing that takes credibillity away from the review is the praise for "Love Rhymes With Hideous Car Wreck." I'm sorry to say that that was a bad song. Otherwise this review was spot on and this is a fantastic album that pleases from head to toe.

GlassPipeMurder (October 10, 2006)

Crimes really brought the suxx, i hope this is better.

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

Camouflage, camouglage could be their best song ever.

I'd go as far as to say this record is as good as BPIB, just for different reasons.

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

VVV get the fuck out

gladimnotemo (October 10, 2006)

"they will consistently bring challenging, innovative thoughts to the table that actually come out on the other end as awfully tight, intense and enjoyable songs."

Whoosh. The only word that's correct there is awful.

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