Illustration: Nick Wanserski

Every Friday, dozens of new records are released into the wild. Some make big splashes, and others sink almost immediately. For most music consumers, it’s almost too much information, and save for those precious few who spend their hours glued to reviews sites and release calendars, it’s hard to know what’s coming out when. Thankfully, The A.V. Club is ready to help those struggling souls. Each month, we’ll publish a fairly comprehensive list of what’s coming to record stores and streaming services in upcoming weeks, complete with capsule previews so interested parties can know what to expect.


August 5

Blowout, No Beer, No Dad

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On “Indiana”—Blowout’s lead single from debut full-length No Beer, No Dad—singer Laken Wright wails over blistering, catchy thrashes of guitar about the special adoration she has for the one person who doesn’t bore her to death. It’s a cathartic shred of loose, pop-imbued indie rock with punk muscle, and the rest of the album follows suit in glorious, stirring fashion. With Wright’s aggressive warble and a tendency toward explosive six-string blasts, which earn the band its moniker, the closest comparison is a (somehow) more feral Hop Along. But Blowout’s ragged, anxious tunes are all its own. [Matt Williams]

Creative Adult, Fear Of Life

Creative Adult’s sophomore LP avoids the dreaded slump and then some. The Bay Area post-punk act turns it up on Fear Of Life with Jesus And Mary Chain-esque guitar melodies (the charming “Moving Window”); extended, psychedelic jams nodding to Krautrock (nine-minute-long opener “Connected”); death-rock swagger (“Reality Tunnel”); and wonderfully aching, mopey head trips (“Charged,” which brings Miserable/King Woman’s like-minded Kristina Esfandiari on board). If you ever thought lyrical self-flagellation and morose atmospheres could use a dose of energy, tune in here. [Brian Shultz]

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Dinosaur Jr., Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not

What is widely considered Dinosaur Jr.’s most important album, You’re Living All Over Me, will turn 30 years old next year, but the indie rock titans have not lost their creative spark in the interim. Since Lou Barlow returned to the band in 2005, they’ve built a remarkable run that’s included 2007 release Beyond, 2009’s Farm, and 2012’s I Bet On Sky. Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not promises to continue this streak, proving Barlow and songwriter J Mascis to be the rare musical partnership that doesn’t wilt with age. [Philip Cosores]

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Drowse, Memory Bed EP

Kyle Bates’ bedroom project Drowse unleashes its latest installment of dark, somewhat droning neo-folk with Memory Bed. It’s breathy, entrancing, and certainly a little bit eerie, falling somewhere between Grouper and a more stripped-back Death In June. Despite only nearing 15 minutes, it feels appropriately drawn-out as Bates fingerpicks acoustic guitars amid a haunting hum. Maya Stoner of fellow Portland act Sabonis accompanies each track, adding a pleasantly dreary quality to things, especially on opener “Break.” [Brian Shultz]

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Gorgon City, Kingdom Vol. 1

By the time Gorgon City’s second album, Kingdom Vol. 1, is available as a discrete product, every one of its eight songs will have been released at three-week intervals. The impeccable production and songwriting skills of the British duo ride a steady balance between pop-dance and underground club vibes. Kingdom Vol. 1 has aggravatingly sticky songs like “All Four Walls” and the island-tinged, Wyclef Jean-vocalized “Zoom Zoom.” It also has dance-floor-oriented tracks with the deep vibrations of the chugging “Blue Parrot” and the disarming moody number “Smoke.” Kingdom Vol. 2 will follow in 2017. [Lily Moayeri]

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Moose Blood, Blush

For its second album, Blush, Moose Blood has jumped from indie No Sleep to a bigger label, Hopeless Records. Accordingly, the Canterbury, Kent, band’s throwback ’90s emo sound boasts a more melodic, poppier sheen than 2014’s I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time—as evidenced by the crashing “Knuckles” and the optimistic earworm “Honey.” [Annie Zaleski]

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Russian Circles, Guidance

Record label Sargent House is a breeding ground for the strange, the experimental, and the progressive. Russian Circles is all three without ever uttering a single lyric. Its first album in three years, Guidance has given a great first impression, pushing the band into heavier post-metal, more atmospheric post-rock, and deeper instrumental grooves. With the album produced by Converge’s Kurt Ballou, the expectations are in place: This record may wake up the neighbors and keep listeners up at night, haunting them as they wonder how such sounds are even possible. [Dan Bogosian]

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Wild Beasts, Boy King

On its fifth LP, Boy King, Wild Beasts largely forego the electronic, technological fascinations that colored 2014’s Present Tense in favor of an off-the-cuff stylistic edict, while emphasizing the alchemical vocal interplay between Tom Fleming and Hayden Thorpe. It’s another excellent record from a band that hasn’t made a bad one yet, and according to Fleming, “has them back to being pissed off.” Anger and tension are rarely a bad thing for music, and Boy King benefits immensely from them. [John Everhart]

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Wye Oak, Tween

The Cocteau Twins vibe is strong on Wye Oak’s fifth album, Tween. Dense sound layers—alternating between gnarled noise and more placid, synth-based atmospheres—roil underneath the music’s surface. On “Out Of Nowhere,” digital friction matches the ominous, processed vibe of guitarist Jenn Wasner’s vocals. At other times, as on the sterling “Watching The Waiting,” the busy backdrop amplifies her voice’s majestic timbre. [Annie Zaleski]

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August 12

Atmosphere, Fishing Blues

Even when beat master Ant switched to a more optimistic sonic palette over 10 years ago, rapper Slug still kept his lyrics about losers—the loser just wasn’t always him. Fishing Blues will likely continue with that slight tweak to their formula, one that’s long since become the norm. In lead single “Ringo,” Slug takes on the persona of someone trying to work his way through a hangover, casting off bleary-eyed pearls such as “I feel faint, like an old-ass flashlight.” Meanwhile, Ant’s glockenspiel/accordion arrangement comes off as some weird hybrid between Bruce Springsteen and “Weird Al” Yankovic, two artists who also know how to sing about losers while sounding like winners. [Dan Caffrey]

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Brendan Canning, Home Wrecking Years

It’s been three years since Brendan Canning’s sophomore solo record, You Gots 2 Chill, but with the announcement of his third, and the recent news that Broken Social Scene is working on new tunes, it looks like he’s making up for the break. Home Wrecking Years is packed with diverse sounds, as can be expected from the Toronto native, filled out by atmospheric, blast-off indie rock (“Book It To Fresno”); mellow, percussive dreamscapes (“Keystone Dealers”); and sun-kissed acoustic ditties (“Baby’s Going Her Own Way”)—all filtered through the Canadian music scene mainstay’s well-honed pop sensibilities. [Matt Williams]

Kindling, Everywhere Else

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Kindling features half of the great screamo act Ampere but doesn’t venture along the same paths. It masters another style on Everywhere Else, with compelling shoegaze in the spirit of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless (scope the lurching intro of “Galaxies”). There’s a punkier garage slant at times to distinguish itself, too. With its first full-length, the Western Massachusetts act delivers just over a half hour of driving, fuzzy bliss. [Brian Shultz]

Of Montreal, Innocence Reaches

Following extensive dalliances into post-gender songcraft and multitiered, depressive freak-outs, Of Montreal is kicking back with a pop-inspired follow-up to last year’s Aureate Gloom and accompanying live album, Snare Lustrous Doomings. You can always depend on mastermind Kevin Barnes to bring the weirdness (just take a glance at the track list, which includes titles like “Chaos Arpeggiating” and “Les Chants De Maldoror,” the latter of which is titled after a macabre, six-canto work of poetry from 19th-century France). In addition to the band’s usual freak-funk, expect a heap of synths: During the album’s gestation, Barnes claims he had the likes of Jack U, Chairlift, and Arca on repeat. [Zoe Camp]

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Thee Oh Sees, A Weird Exits

West Coast rockers Thee Oh Sees add another LP to their ever-growing discography with the release of A Weird Exits. Picking up where Mutilator Defeated At Last left off, the four-piece’s 11th full-length is a delectably mind-altering riff on earlier cuts like “The Lens” and “Night Crawler.” Whether it’s the romance-drenched lyricism of “The Axis” or the driving riffs and 1960s bravado of “Plastic Plant,” Thee Oh Sees’ capacity for innovation is infinite. A Weird Exits’ release also coincides with a lengthy tour, which will undoubtedly woo new listeners into fandom while rekindling diehard followers’ already established dedication. [Dianca London]

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August 19

AJJ, The Bible 2

Formerly known as Andrew Jackson Jihad, AJJ is the kind of band whose weirdness doesn’t hinder its career aspirations but actually helps them along. From its early work as a folk-punk duo to its newer material as a quartet, the band hits that bizarre Venn diagram intersection between the Violent Femmes and They Might Be Giants. AJJ’s new album, the cheekily titled The Bible 2, is full of frontman Sean Bonnette’s sardonic lyricism—he has no problem turning serious discussions of religion, drugs, and death into killer sing-alongs. [Scott Heisel]

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Bayside, Vacancy

Bayside has been an East Coast punk rock institution for a decade and a half, but that doesn’t mean it’s run out of ideas. In fact, the band’s seventh full-length is frontman Anthony Raneri’s most personal collection of songs yet, with themes that center around his disintegrating marriage and being displaced in Nashville. However, instead of wallowing in pity, songs like “Enemy Lines” are as infectious as they are cathartic. When Raneri sings, “Now you’re upset but you’ve got to admit it’s catchy” to his former muse, it’s hard to argue with him. [Jonah Bayer]

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Bueno, Illuminate Your Room

If albums were always as good as a band’s given live set, Bueno’s Illuminate Your Room would be in the running for album of the year. A whirlwind of energy from the East Coast, the group mixes waves of Strokes-like guitars with the doom and gloom of post-punk to create its own ethereal monster. Sometimes it’s poppy, sometimes it’s borderline spoken word, and sometimes it’s a hellish chaos, but it’s always interesting. Available from Babe City Records and Exploding In Sound, it looks like the sophomore effort is going to be muy bueno. [Dan Bogosian]

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Sam Coomes, Bugger Me

One half of the beloved Quasi, Sam Coomes is finally releasing his debut solo album, Bugger Me. Without drummer Janet Weiss, Coomes largely relies on a vintage, tinny drum machine to create a warped pop sound akin to “Suicide meets the Beach Boys,” according to Coomes. Whatever the incarnation he finds himself in, Coomes is a superb songwriter and instrumentalist, and Bugger Me is a unique permutation of his idiosyncratic genius. [John Everhart]

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Factory Floor, 25 25

Tailored for a label like the forward-thinking DFA, London-based duo Factory Floor returns with a sophomore record of minimal electronic melodies pulled along by unadorned rhythms that stretch off into the horizon. It’s as bleak and chilling as it sounds—further underscored by the group’s noted “post-industrial” genre tag. The single “Dial Me In” feels like it’s about to kick in for the entirety of its six-plus minutes, but the lifeless, effects-drowned vocals repeatedly telling all to “Give up” and “Chill out” should eventually compel listeners to search out the special kind of dark corner that’s perfect for balling up into the fetal position and waiting out the rest of your lonely life in. [Kevin Warwick]

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French Montana, MC4

It’s risky to get excited about a hip-hop album solely based on its guest stars. Then again, just look at those guest stars. French Montana’s second full-length (and main-course follow-up to his Harry Fraud collaboration, Mac & Cheese: The Appetizer) puts both Kanye West and Nas back in the same place on lead single “Figure It Out.” While it’s nowhere near as major as “We Major,” its cataloguing of problems both internal and external still manages to groove, making it another successful installment of Autotune-as-emotion in the world of modern rap music. Did we mention the record also features Beanie Sigel, Jay Z, Max B, Miguel, and Drake? Maybe getting excited isn’t that risky after all. [Dan Caffrey]

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The Heaters, American Dream: The Portastudio Recordings

The early Los Angeles punk scene often doesn’t get enough credit for the range of acts that played around the city on any given night in the late ’70s and early ’80s—from the rockabilly of The Blasters to the pummeling hardcore of Black Flag. Retro-pop band The Heaters never got as much national attention as their contemporaries, largely because they found it hard to record their effervescent, Ronettes- and Blondie-inspired sound. But the home demos the band recorded back in 1983 did capture what made The Heaters special. They’re finally being released, by the excellent archival label Omnivore. The collection’s a must for any West Coast rock scholars who want to hear the missing link between Linda Ronstadt and The Go-Go’s. [Noel Murray]

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Lydia Loveless, Real

If you’re unfamiliar with Ohio singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless, an easy comparison would be what a Liz Phair record might sound like if she were obsessed with Loretta Lynn. The woman’s back catalog is full of edgy alt-country songs about mistakes made, drugs consumed, and lovers cast aside. She is unafraid of her past and willing to expose her scars for the sake of her songs, and we’re all better for it. The 25-year-old explores the idea of what reality actually is on her fourth full-length, Real, carrying a musical and lyrical maturity beyond her years. [Scott Heisel]

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Dolly Parton, Pure & Simple

Dolly Parton’s 2016 victory lap continues with new album Pure & Simple, which emphasizes her immense songwriting talent. More specifically, the country legend has said the album is a nod to her roots, which translates to including two tunes she and Porter Wagoner recorded in the ’70s (“Tomorrow Is Forever,” “Say Forever You’ll Be Mine”) and songs brimming with sentimental lyrics and unadorned arrangements. [Annie Zaleski]

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Skeletonwitch, The Apothic Gloom EP

It’s been three years since Skeletonwitch took the thrash-metal mantle with Serpents Unleashed, its hook-laden, Kurt Ballou-produced barnstormer of an LP. Unfortunately, its sonic apex was soon overshadowed by the firing of frontman and founding member Chance Garnette in late 2014 due to alcohol abuse and accompanying allegations of assault and battery. Earlier this year, the remaining members of the Ohio-based band announced they’d enlisted Wolvhammer vocalist Adam Clemans in his stead: a gruff howler whose acrid performative style and sludgy background make him well-suited to deliver Skeletonwitch’s wrath. The Apothic Gloom, then, is more than an EP: It’s a new beginning for one of metal’s most talented acts. [Zoe Camp]

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Slow Club, One Day All Of This Won’t Matter Anymore

The U.K. duo of Rebecca Taylor and Charles Watson recorded their fourth album in Richmond, Virginia, with Matthew E. White helming production duties. It’s a vast stylistic departure for the act, foregoing its prior whimsy in favor of more rustic Americana. This new style fits Slow Club like a glove: The songwriting is still top-notch, while White’s sonic accoutrements raise the bar artistically. [John Everhart]

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Tobacco, Sweatbox Dynasty

Black Moth Super Rainbow’s Thomas Fec, a.k.a. Tobacco, continues to keep things as trippy as possible with the release of Sweatbox Dynasty via Ghostly International. As visceral and unshakably haunting as a drug-induced vision, this follow-up to 2014’s Ultima II Massage transports listeners into a realm teeming with electro-psych rhythms as in the memorable buzz of “Human Om” and the raspy grit of “Gods In Heat” As usual, Fec’s rejection of convention is undeniably riveting and somehow shamanistic. [Dianca London]

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Ryley Walker, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung

The Chicago guitar-noodling savant follows his Dead Oceans debut, Primrose Green, with what’s sure to be both another beautiful ode to Fahey and American primitive guitar as well as a display of his prolific abilities as a songwriter and improviser. These full-lengths are road markers in a short career filled with side-project and collaboration detours. On “The Halfwit In Me,” listeners have to strain to hear everything Ryley and his contributors are doing in the background of the ever-evolving, busy track, but, man, its luster is never dulled one iota because of it. Bets are good that this album will move above and beyond its predecessor. [Kevin Warwick]

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Scott Walker, The Childhood Of A Leader Original Soundtrack

Veteran avant-garde pop crooner/composer Scott Walker isn’t incredibly prolific, which makes each new recording an event—even when it’s the all-instrumental soundtrack to actor Brady Corbet’s directorial debut The Childhood Of A Leader. Longtime Walker fans shouldn’t think of this album as marginalia, though. The score contains some of his most accessible music in decades, with slashing strings and pulsing tones that generate as much tension and beauty as any other 21st-century Walker record. The difference is that, at an average length of about a minute and a half each, these songs become compact snippets of sonic art. [Noel Murray]

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August 26

The Album Leaf, Between Waves

There are a lot of notable things about the new Album Leaf album. Not only is it the band’s first full-length in six years (notwithstanding its collaboration with Sun Kil Moon in 2013), but it also marks the first time Jimmy LaValle has written and recorded with a complete band as opposed to as a solo project. But don’t let the fact that the band has moved from Sub Pop to Relapse fool you. Despite LaValle’s tenure in The Locust, this album doesn’t feature any blast beats or screaming. Instead, the downbeat title track is a sublime amalgam of organic and electronic elements that’s as eerie as it is hypnotic. [Jonah Bayer]

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Banks & Steelz, Anything But Words

The long-gestating collaboration between Interpol frontman Paul Banks and Wu-Tang Clan producer-rapper RZA finally sees the light of day with album Anything But Words. After announcing the collaboration back in 2013, the final product features appearances from Wu-Tang cohorts Method Man, Masta Killa, and Ghostface Killah as well as Kool Keith and Florence Welch from Florence And The Machine. That’s quite the lineup to assist the two iconic New York artists, who won’t confine the project to just an album. They’ve already announced a healthy run of festival dates and proper concerts, too. [Philip Cosores]

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Cassius, Ibifornia

Cassius may not be the household name Daft Punk is, but the respected French duo has many of the same characteristics, including being heavily sampled on Jay Z and Kanye West’s “Why I Love You.” Its long-awaited fourth album, the multigenre Ibifornia, features a cross-section of collaborators. From Portugal. The Man to OneRepublic to dOP, it is Cat Power who meshes best with Cassius. She battles Beastie Boys’ Mike D on the exotic disco tune “Action,” flows with Pharrell Williams on the Latin house jam “Go Up,” and chills the spine on soulful gospel number “Feel Like Me.” [Lily Moayeri]

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De La Soul, And The Anonymous Nobody

De La Soul took its time delivering its eighth studio album, its first since 2004’s The Grind Date. Based on what’s so far been released from And The Anonymous Nobody, the time has been well spent. The Long Island legends recorded more than 200 hours worth of material with the Rhythm Roots Allstars in the studio, samples from which serve as the foundation for the new record. Add in guest appearances from the likes of Damon Albarn, 2 Chainz, and David Byrne to go with the trio’s expert wordplay, and you have the makings for one of the year’s most hotly anticipated hip-hop records. [Ryan Bray]

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Glass Animals, How To Be A Human Being

Who can forget the “peanut butter vibes” of the memorable “Gooey” from of Glass Animals’ debut album, Zaba? The culinary theme continues on the group’s second album, How To Be A Human Being, with “Pork Soda,” “Cane Shuga,” and “[Premade Sandwiches].” What is different is the shift from tropical fantasyland and abstract lyricism to real-world and character-based autobiographical stories. And from perfect polish, Glass Animals move to their version of raw and gritty, which is still pretty buffed up, if not shiny. The beats stand out as the album’s most defining feature, heavy and full of personality. [Lily Moayeri]

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Katy Goodman And Greta Morgan, Take It, It’s Yours

La Sera’s Katy Goodman (ex-Vivian Girls) and Springtime Carnivore’s Greta Morgan joined forces to record Take It, It’s Yours, and the result is inarguably awesome. Their album, composed of covers by legendary outfits like The Misfits, Bad Brains, and The Replacements, not only challenges the male (and at times misogynistic) narrative of punk and new wave but also reinvents it in a refreshing way. Goodman and Morgan’s interpretation of cuts like The Gun Club’s “Sex Beat,” The Buzzcocks’ “Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve),” and The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog” breathe much-needed new life into each iconic song. [Dianca London]

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Cass McCombs, Mangy Love

Cass McCombs continues on his fascinating journey as one of America’s best and most underrated songwriters. In Mangy Love, his eighth studio LP, McCombs evinces sociopolitical lyrical concerns while veering wildly stylistically, encompassing psychedelia, soul, and lush baroque. Angel Olsen guests on the mellifluous, sweeping “Opposite House,” which is emblematic of the ceaseless beauty that suffuses this album. [John Everhart]

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Ingrid Michaelson, It Doesn’t Have To Make Sense

Ingrid Michaelson’s pop music has always possessed an ornate edge informed by her years of classical training. Her seventh album, It Doesn’t Have To Make Sense, boasts similar lush hallmarks: Although lead single “Hell No” has sleek chorus harmonies and contemporary production, the song’s arrangements are measured and deceptively simple. [Annie Zaleski]

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Butch Walker, Stay Gold

Formerly of glam-rock band Marvelous 3, Butch Walker has been nothing short of chameleonic in his solo career. There’s the overt David Bowie worship of The Rise And Fall Of Butch Walker And The Let’s-Go-Out-Tonites, the subdued folk of Afraid Of Ghosts, and the power-pop goodness of Letters. He functions best when he throws everything into a big sonic stew, as proven on his high-water mark, 2008’s Sycamore Meadows. Stay Gold feels like a proper follow-up to that album, if the pre-release singles are any indication: “East Coast Girl” is jangly and rootsy, “Descending” is a delicate duet with country singer Ashley Monroe, and the title track is a solid slab of ’70s AOR recently unearthed from a time capsule. [Scott Heisel]

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