Siren Song Of The Counter Culture Review

artist: rise against date: 07/28/2010 category: compact discs
rise against: Siren Song Of The Counter Culture
Released: Aug 10, 2004
Genre: Rock
Styles: Punk Revival, Hardcore Punk
Number Of Tracks: 12
Rise Against has always been pretty sincere in both its politics and commitment to hardcore revivalism, so if Siren Song nods to accessibility, it's only to recruit more kids for the raging.
 Sound: 9.8
 Lyrics: 9.9
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Overall rating:
 9.6 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.8 
 Users rating:
 9.4 
 Votes:
 114 
reviews (12) 12 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
Siren Song Of The Counter Culture Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 15, 2005
3 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: I was very pleasantly surprised with this CD. I first heard Rise Against in a commercial with a snippet of "Give It All." I downloaded the song, and liked it so much that I bought the CD. I'll review each song seperately. The only problem with the sound as a whole is that sometimes the guitars aren't quite loud enough. 01. State Of The Union - angry, all screaming attack on the governement and its policies. Short, but it drags on for about 30 seconds in the middle - 8/10. 02. The Fist Drop - great shorter song that really shows the true style of Rise Against. Great chorus - 10/10. 03. Life Less Frightening - my second favorite song on the album. Fast, emotional, and pure hardcore - 10/10. 04. Paper Wings - slightly punky, with good verses and chorus but nothing exceptional - 9/10. 05. Blood To Bleed - emotional love song that is pretty standard Rise Against, but with a really good chorus - 9/10. 06. To Them These Streets Belong - my favorite song on the CD. Slowish beginning with a fast and breathtaking middle part, followed by the same beginning but with more emotion. Very punky - 11/10. 07. Tip The Scales - anthemic track with a "get up and do something with your life" attitude. Very lively and hard - 10/10. 08. Anywhere But Here - my second least favorite song. There's nothing wrong with it, it's just pretty generic Rise Against. Nothing special - 8/10. 09. Give It All - great, powerful track. Very hard, mostly screaming, but with a melodic chorus - 10/10. 10. Dancing For Rain - my least favorite track. It would be pretty catchy, but the chorus suffers from a lack of louder music and background singers - 7.5/10. 11. Swing Life Away - decent acoustic song, the chorus is great, but in the verses the singer goes too fast for the music and sings a little off key - 8.5/10. 12. Rumors Of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated - fantastic end, the most beautiful and melodic song on the CD - 10/10. // 10

Lyrics: Lyrics are Rise Against's strong point. There is a lot of lyrial diversity on Siren Song. On a few songs, like "State Of The Union," "The First Drop," "Life Less Frightening," "To Them These Streets Belong," and "Tip the Scales" the lyrics are obviously politically enraged. Other songs, like "Paper Wings," "Blood To Bleed," and "Anywhere But Here" are love/breakup songs. "Swing Life Away" is a mellow ballad, "Rumors..." is about how life is scarier than death, and I have no idea what "Dancing For Rain" is about (apparently a drought, but it may be symbolic). You can't go wrong with lines like "Thewonds: power death and distorted truth/Are read between the lines of red white and blue" and "when I die/will they remember not/what I did/or what I haven't done/It's not the end/that I fear with each breath/It's life that scares me to death!" The lead singer's voice is very raspy and he tends to scream rather than sing, but it usually goes well with the music. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, this CD is probably my favorite of all time. I actually find it to be kind of similar to Taking Back Sunday. If you like them, you'll love Rise Against. If it were lost, I'd not only buy it again but also Rise Against's 1st two CDs, which I can't wait to hear. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Siren Song Of The Counter Culture Reviewed by: UG Team, on july 26, 2005
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: Rise Against were spoken about a lot lately -? first due to the change of their guitarist -? ex-Reach the Sky Chris Chasse replaced Dan Precesion, then their move from the indie label Fat Wreck Chords to Dreamworks, which have been widely discussed. And of course, when it comes to Rise Against, everybody remembers that there are two different ways of playing punk ?- political and none-political. Of course Rise Against belongs to the first clan of punk music. But lets give the album a fair listen. It's about music anyway, doesn't really matter if it is political or not. Well, to be honest, it's kind of hard not to think about it as the first song on the album is the most political one, but I'll try to skip the liberal nature of the band here -? "State Of The Union" is an energetic and heavy start to the album. Right from that song the album bursts with pure punk aggression. During the first couple of songs it feels like somebody's hammering your head, but once you get into it, the music fills you with that aggressive energy and you become a part of it. The album is made in typical punk style -? fast-paced drum beats, powerful guitar chords and thrashing bass lines. The multiple guitar layers and pulsing riffs add melodic flavor to the songs. The record was produced by GGGarth (who previously worked with Rage Against The Machine) and it consists of twelve different songs, each telling a different story. "Paper Wings" is one of the best songs on the album. It's totally infections punctuated with an awesome guitar lick that goes all through the song and a sad story behind it. The song was featured in several video games soundtracks over the past years. "To Them These Streets Belong" has amazing intro. The intro sounds better then the song though. "Anywhere But Here" stands out for me because of it's contagious drum beat. I mean, it's obvious that Brandon Barnes is a very good drummer from the beginning of the album, but this song made me think this guy is crazy. I'd love to see him live. The best song on the record in my opinion is "Swing Life Away." I was totally obsessed with that tear-inducing acoustic ballad right from the first time I heard it. It made me learn all the words by heart and now I sing it all the time. It is done just perfectly and the sharp guitar sound, instead of regular acoustic, fits both the punk music of the band and the romantic mood of the song. Thanx God it's not the last song on the album, otherwise it would be too snotty. The last song "Rumors Of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated," being not as memorable, as others, is a good one for the end of the album. As everywhere on the record, the guitar solo is astounding here. // 10

Lyrics: When it comes to lyrics, Rise Against showed us what a punk rock band should sound like. With all those teenage punk rockers whining about how much life sucks and what happened after they lost their love, I almost forgot there could be any sense in punk music lyrics. Rise Against write poetically angry lyrics, desperate, but with the hope somewhere behind. I am amazed by how incredibly well-written they are -- they even sound fine if you just read them without music. Poetry is surprisingly clever and truly heartfelt -? "It's not the end that I fear/It's life that scares me to death." Again, my favorite is "Swing Life Away." Somehow it touches me deeply, especially the line where McIlrath sings about scars "I'll show you mine if you show me yours first/Lets compare scars I'll tell you whose is worst." It's so simple, but yet powerful, that you wonder, how come you never wrote anything like that? I just fell in love with the way he sings it. Listening to the anger vocals on the album, you can hardy imagine the same man singing a slow song. "Swing Life Away" truly shows the McIlrath vocal ability. It is perfect in everything -? in vocals too. As well as his gritty incomparable voice, I enjoyed McIlrath's singing manner -? he's always passionate about what he sings, doesn't matter if he presents it in melodic singing or piercing screaming. // 10

Overall Impression: With this album, Rise Against reminded us what a real classical, raw punk-rock is. Of any band, that deserves attention is punk world now, Rise Against is the band. For those who's never heard the band, the album would seem a real gem. But unfortunately, for the band's real fans, for those, who know the band's real potential, that might be a disappointment. With the change of the label, the music became milder and more accessible aiming to reach more people and get the band's message through radio and TV. Everybody understands, that the guys and their new major label need some money, but the popularization of the music often leads to loosing the individual features of the band. Which is not welcomed by true fans. // 8

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overall: 9.7
Siren Song Of The Counter Culture Reviewed by: Zamboni, on october 06, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Rise Against has a wonderful sound, comprised of hardcore punk influences, as well as an alternative, even pop-punk touch. This is a very politically-centered album, and the anti-bush edge shines through in songs like "State Of The Union," "The First Drop," and "Give It All." Rise Against is one of those bands that is tough to compare to other artists, because they have developed a sound all their own, and to truly get a feel for their passion and energy, you must actually listen to their music. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are well thought-out and generally very well written. He alternates well between deeply passionate anger, and more lightweight, "lost-love" type lyrics. They fit very well with all the songs, and the lead singer has an amazing voice, as well as an amazing scream. His scream is almost melodic, so that he can be screaming, but it still has a tone to it, which I feel adds alot to the music. // 10

Overall Impression: Compared to some other similar-style albums I own, this one is way up there in my favorites. It's a good demonstration of Rise Against's skill on their instruments, as well as excellent songwriting skills. This is one of those CD's where there is really no bad songs. They are all very good, and I can just put it on, and let it play. I would reccomend this CD to any type of punk fan, and I also reccoment picking up some of their other albums. If lost, I would definitely buy it again. // 10

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overall: 10
Siren Song Of The Counter Culture Reviewed by: Pieper1, on march 29, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Sorry if all I do is praise these guys but I don't know what to say first except that this band can do no wrong. They changed their sound a lot from "Revolutions Per Minute" (their previous album). They sound great together. The lyrics blend with song and you become consumed by the guitar and bass riffs. The overall sound is unbelievable. Props to guitarist, Chris Chasse and bassist, Joe Principe. The drummer, Brandon Barnes is unbelieveable. Listen to "Life Less Frightening" and "To Them these Streets Belong" to get a taste of how awesome he is. The vocalist (Tim McIlrath) is probably one of the best singers I have ever heard. He is just as good live and he is on the cd, and he has the best scream, that can't be compared to anyone that I have ever heard. Punk is the main music style of Rise Against and they redefine how punk should sound with album. Because the guitar is probably a little more complicated than most punk bands who just play 4 chord progressions for a verse. No, Rise Against's verses are constantly changing and have lots of fast picking and moving up and down the guitar. // 10

Lyrics: Rise Against's lyrics are probably the best that I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. I really did debate with myself about this, and the other bands that came to mind that I think have great lyrics are Alkaline Trio and Dashboard Confessional, so it was tough. I really tried not to be biased just because Rise Against is my favorite band of the three. But instead I looked up lyrics and seriously compared them. I like the lyrics on this album mostly because they have deep meaning and are almost all motivational and not dark or hateful. The song "Give It All" is probably the best example of this. The lyrics are original and very motivational. Also "Rumors of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated," "Swing Life Away," and "Dancing For Rain" are other songs that come to mind when talking about lyrics in my humble opinion. The lyrics go with the music very well because they give exactly the kind of emotion that you hear in the guitar riffs, whether the guitar is emotional or rockin' hard. For example "Give It All" has very motivational guitar riffs and you get that same feeling from the lyrics. And also like in "Swing Life Away," the guitar starts off very emotional sounding and you hear that in the lyrics too all throughout the song. And like I said before Tim does a great job singing and really kills the mic everytime he steps up to one. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall this is my favorite CD that I own. I was completely engrossed in it from the first track to the last. You never lose interest in any part of the album because of the guitar and lyrics. "Give It All" is probably RA's most impressive work on this album. Second has to be "Rumors of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated," then "Tip The Scales," "Swing Life Away" and "To Them These Streets Belong." I would recommend that anyone who likes punk, screamo, and emo to go out and buy this album. Probably the best spent $12 you will spend in your life. // 10

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overall: 10
Siren Song Of The Counter Culture Reviewed by: rad82, on december 20, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Where would we be without the sweet, fast, inspiring music that Rise against has to offer for us all? I mean seriously, the sound this album has makes me want to get up and do something really cool, whether It's the hard core sounds of "State Of The Union" the movtivation that the songs "Give It All" and "Life Less Frightning" will bring or the mellow vibes of "Swing Life Away," these guys are stright ill. // 10

Lyrics: These guys are deep. Period. I'm definatly down with anybody who's not down with Bush and can put the phrase "This world can be a cold motha f--ker." In the best way possible in a lot of their songs. I really like Tim Mcllrath's voice, especially the way he can sing and scream at the same time. "Swing Life Away" is definatly the #1 pick of songs I would sing and play on guitar to my chick, that is, if I had one. // 10

Overall Impression: Dang. This is one of the greatest punk albums ever, if the the greatest. Everything about it just blew me away. I've listened to this cd so many times through, and the stuff never gets old. Kids, remember the day you listened to Siren Song Of The Counter Culture for the first time, because these guys are going down in history. // 10

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overall: 10
Siren Song Of The Counter Culture Reviewed by: SteveHouse, on january 04, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The music simply couldn't be better. Rise Against have found away to keep punk alive with the music on this album. The uptempo speed, the great drums, and the in-your-face style altogether are simply great. Every song progresses differently, as well. It's not easy to confuse one song for another, as might be done with other albums out there today. This is not "filler." This is a great piece of work. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are great. Tim is sometimes a little bit hard to understand due to the rasp in his voice, but this is easily overlooked. He does a fantastic job of communicating his message to the world. His singing style couldn't compliment the music more. Tim is a fantastic singer, but he very rarely sings. He is more prone to power-shout, which is a little bit harsh if this is your first experience with Rise Against. However, once you get used to it, he's amazing. // 10

Overall Impression: In my opinion, this is one of the best CDs of the last decade. The opening track, "State of the Union", kicks things off by basically just getting one thing straight before a word is spoken: We're about to scream in your face. Get over it. To Them These Streets Belong is a fantastic track that has more than one level of lyrical depth to it. Give It All is the same way, and everything is rounded off with Rumors Of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated. The only thing I don't care for about this CD is that Swing Life Away, the only song of its kind on the album, got released as a single, so people may buy this CD for the wrong reasons. If somebody stole this, I would personally see to it that they were beaten down by the mafia, then I'd by him a copy, for, as somebody said about a different album, even a dirty thief can't go without this. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Siren Song Of The Counter Culture Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 04, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: I hadn't paid much attention to Rise against before this. Sure, I haerd them on a warped tour compilation here, a rock against bush album there. Then I heard the two singles and had to buy it. Most albums let you down and the best songs are the two singles you are sick of already. This is not one of those records. this is an amazing band and an amazing album. Track 1: an awesome hardcore, no, metal political song. Best song on album. But here's the thing: it all rocks. The music is great, interesting, can be hard hitting or beautiful. This truly is beautiful hardcore. It is still hardcore, don't worry. The only bad part is the annoying intro on Paper Wings, it gets better tho. // 10

Lyrics: The singer is amazing. The best rock vocalist I have ever heard. He can totally rock the screamer stuff but also sings beautifully on Swing Life Away. He can also do both. Listen to the feeling in his voice on track 3 "Suffering from something we're not sure of." The lyrics are awesome. They talk of love, life, protest, and politics. A lot of people think they are just a political band, not true. State Of The Union is the only political song, really kind of. So even if you support Bush, I still encourage you fascist whore. The only weak lyrics are on track 8, anywhere but here. // 9

Overall Impression: If you like pop punk, buy this album. If you like emo, buy this album. If you like classic punk, indie rock, any rock, or polka, buy this album. Most albums are a waist of money. No matter how much you pay, it will be worth it. // 10

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overall: 10
Siren Song Of The Counter Culture Reviewed by: guitarista_727, on march 28, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Ok, to start this review, I have an advice to give you when listening to this Rise Against album: catch up. This album is simply fast. And when I mean fast, I mean fast. Except for the very well played and sang 'Swing Life Away' on the acoustics, everything else is simply played in a fast pace, probably two snare drum beats per second for some of the songs. Songs start and end well. Good, simple intros for some of the songs. And none of these songs end in that fading fashion, where the song keeps playing until it simply fades, which I know is a peeve against many fans like the Rise Against fans. All the guys played their instruments well, with good solos and bridges effectively played in some songs. The most important factor to the speed of the album is 'Swing Life Away'. The band's acoustic song in this album, it is the second to the last song in the track. I'll explain in the Lyrics section why this helps. // 10

Lyrics: Rise Against can well express what they want to say. Their vocalist, Tim, has this kind of a scratched up voice that actually helps in the portrayal of the song's message. The lyrics are well written, with most of them expressing hate against certain political topics. Ok, like I said, I'll explain the Swing Life Away effect to the album. It's a melancholic acoustic song about one's view of life, so it seems effective and fitting to put this song right before a song about death, 'Rumors Of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated'. // 10

Overall Impression: If you are an avid fan of fast songs, get this album. This is worth the buy, and I was lucky to get this for $9.99, because we all know the good CDs costs from $15 on. Overall, this is a good buy. The music is worth it, and for many fans out there, the message is worth it. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Siren Song Of The Counter Culture Reviewed by: sketchy z, on june 09, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: With Rise Against coming out with a new album soon I decided to give SSCC another listen. I think that this is one of my favorite, if not best sounding CDs in my collection. I love every song on the CD except for maybe the first drop. Tim plays some guitar on this album changing it up from RPM but it really added alout to the music without taking alot from his vocals. this is definently one of the few CDs I have that I can listen to entirely through, without skipping a track. // 9

Lyrics: Politcally driven fast punk, post hardcore lyrics is what really stood out on this album I think. Instrumentally they were good but this CD was all about the lyrics and Tims beautiful voice. He can sing you to sleep, but then wake you up and make you want to mosh with his scream. He has a wide range of vocal abilities, listen to State Of The Union and then listen to Swing Life Away, it's amazing to hear the differences. His voice definently improved this album, it might be recording quality or he may have just practiced but whatever he did worked wonderfully and I look forward to the new album. // 10

Overall Impression: Okay I'm going to break this down to the Instruments and members in the band and tell you how I think they did. Brandon (drums) - probably the most underated drummer in punk music today, he delivers his best performance in this album. Joe (bass) - amazing musician, he chords alot, which adds something different to the music and thats what I'm always excited to listen to, something orignal. Chris (guitar) - awesome guitarist, he really showcased his talent this album and threw down some insane riffts that added so much to their new sound. Tim (vocals) - his lyrics, singing abilities, screaming abilities, and stage presence(if you go see him live) are at the peak of his career. He hasnt done such a good job with any other band hes been in. I hope they can live up to the hype of their new album. // 9

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overall: 10
Siren Song Of The Counter Culture Reviewed by: SnowMan1, on july 30, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Rise Against's third album and it's a good one. it's not just a good album, it's their best album ever. Everything is top notch from the guitars to the vocals. If you only listend to The Sufferer and the Witness and wanted them to have a harder sound, this is it. They are classified as Melodic Hardcore and there arnt many big bands under that genre so these guys are pretty different from what's out there now. // 10

Lyrics: Lyrics for Rise Against have always stayed the same. Tim seems to either be singing about the government or an other person, probably a girl he was/is with. Blood to Bleed might seem to be a little emoish to some. Tim is one of the most talented vocalists of the past 10 years. From the soft sounds of Swing Life Away, to an all out scream like State of the Union, and everything in between. Defenetly a one of the most veersatile singers ever. // 10

Overall Impression: This is hands down their best album ever. If you like Rise Against at all you must have this. Everything is done right. Unlike Revolutions Per Minute, each track is fresh and different. State of the Union, Paper Wings, To Them These Streets Belong, Dancing for Rain, and Rumors of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated are some of the best tracks on the album. Buy it, love it, cherrish it, remember it for years to come. A must own for Rise Against lovers. // 10

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overall: 10
Siren Song Of The Counter Culture Reviewed by: lolmnt, on september 03, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: I bought this album about three or four years ago after I heard the song "Give it All" in a video game. I was immediately impressed with the sound of the album. When I got this album, I was just getting into music. I could tell that it was something special with my lack of musical knowledge. All the songs are amazing. The guitar, drums, and bass all complement the vocals and each other perfectly. With the exception of Swing Life Away, the songs are energetic, fast, and sound great with the volume turned all the way up. Swing Life Away is an incredible acoustic song, definitely my favorite acoustic song of all time. State of the Union is a great opening song, and it sets the mood for the rest of the album. The song is angry, loud, and aggressive. The vocals are completely screaming, which normally I don't like. There's something about this song that makes it okay though. My favorite song is either Anywhere but Here or Paper Wings. When I think of the album, those are the songs that come to mind. It's hard to pick favorites though. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are what make this album so amazing. I get chills when I hear Tim's lyrics, they are simple unbelievable. The lyrics are poetic, and you can really hear the message of the band in the lyrics. These are the lyrics I wish I could write. The way Tim delivers them is amazing too. He has a great voice, singing and screaming. // 10

Overall Impression: This is one of my favorite albums of all time. Since the time I bought it, the longest I've gone without listening to it is two weeks. It inspired me to start writing songs and to start a band. Each member of the band has shown that they are the best at what they do. I got all of my friends into Rise Against by listening to this album constantly. I highly recommend that everyone with ears should buy this album and love it. It's one of the best albums of our time and it proves that Rise Against is one of the best bands out there. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Siren Song Of The Counter Culture Reviewed by: LightandEasy, on july 28, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is probably one the most solid sounding Rise Against albums. It definitely shows the middle of Rise Against's transition from Hardcore to a more mainstream music. The recording is clean and very good, not any rough patches as for that. The guitar is mostly power chords and octaves, but it is certainly not a 3 chord album. The solo's that are in their respective tracks match the songs well, and are well voiced over the rest of the band. // 9

Lyrics: 01. State of the Union: this opening track can be misleading to people who first put this album in. This is an rage filled track is an all out attack on the government 02. The First Drop: this second track is well written up beat song, the lyrics tell a definite story with well thought out metaphor 03. A Life Less Frightening: this track is similar in tonality to the previous track and complements it nicely. 04. Paper Wings: this song changes the gear a little bit, its heavier and has more of trade mark lyrical imagery of Rise Against. 05. Blood to Bleed: this bass infused melody is very powerful reflecting the pain of the story of this love song. 06. To Them These Streets Belong: this pulse pounding song shows the wrong inside the speaker as his "hands are soaking in the blood of angels" 07. Tip the Scales: distorted guitar and empowering vocals remind us that there is only one life to live, and that you life should not be lived in vain 08. Anywhere But Here: this song offers a solution to the previous song, that if there is a waste of time in your life go "anywhere but here". 09. Give It All: another song that does provide an exception to the idea of the previous two, that there are things worth giving it all for. 10. Dancing for Rain: this unique track features a classical style intro and bridge section, making it very fun to listen to. The "Rain" is possibly a metaphor for the use of fossil fuels as "We point the finger, never accept the blame" even though we've run out of "water" 11. Swing Life Away: potentially the most popular of all Rise Against songs for its beautiful acoustic guitar and pleasant lyrics. This song is mostly about "making the best out of the worst" 12. Rumors of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated: a song about how you should not be so afraid of death that you forget to live. // 10

Overall Impression: This album is probably my favorite of the all of Rise Against's albums because of its variety in tracks and power of the lyrics. Not to mention that Tim, Chris, Joe, and Brandon were together the longest out of all of the ranks of Rise Against. Definatly worth buying and I would buy it again if I had to. // 10

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