Conversely, maybe it was neglected in America because the underground tastemakers noted Pixies’ conservatism, while it remained too leftfield for the actual Boston and ZZ Top fans. Had the indie public not embraced them so wholeheartedly, would they have passed into pantheon of great bands, or would they be another of those groups who get occasionally reissued, gushed over in the specialist press a bit, then forgotten again, like The Feelies, a pioneering American indie band who remain consigned to the margins? With its two-in-one approach, Ernie Ball’s latest innovation aims to combine two functional stalwarts to give you more room for sexy stuff on your board, with some handy extra features to boot. ‘Broken Face’, ‘Break My Body’ and ‘Bone Machine’ don’t read like the words of an unhinged and dangerous man, but those of someone who really, really, really wanted people to think he was unhinged and dangerous: it’s so obviously a pose. Album. He didn't want to use studio echo, he wanted to use real echo.". (91/100) My first thought about Surfer Rosa was the way Pixies sounds as their lyrics, I mean scratchy, dirty and desperate feeling is reflecting perversions which Black Francis vomits shamelessly. In the first of a series looking at the chord shapes and sequences used by the Beatles, we get inside the head of John Lennon and find a solid rhythm guitarist with an ear for original chord changes. Guitar.com is the world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar. Listening to Surfer Rosa feels like you're sitting in on a Pixies rehearsal in a small practice space. The pace and thematic content remain frenetically intense throughout the remaining eight songs, on Cactus Francis disturbingly imploring his lover to “Bloody your hands on a cactus tree / Wipe it on your dress and send it to me”. To find out more, click here. “It rocked without being lame,” he said of Surfer Rosa, the first full-length Pixies album, in a sentence that many of the record’s admirers might find dismissively simplistic, but which is actually truer than a thousand of the more florid pieces of analysis devoted to it. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Max. Surfer Rosa‘s origins lie in the Purple Tape, a demo recorded over six days in March 1987 using $1,000 borrowed from singer and guitarist Black Francis’ father. Drive a little further and you might reach 'Kashmir' - has a real strangeness to it, in its image of riding a tyre, in the simplicity of Francis’s opening lines: “Stuck here out of gas / Out here on the Gaza Strip.”. Surfer Rosa changed the indie/alternative/whatever game, even though no one really knew who the Pixies were before Doolitle's "Here Comes Your … foregrounded. perfect rating: 10/ A+ [sound/music] Original review published April 2012. Then, a graphic for Surfer Rosa popped up on the screen, signaling the evening’s main event. Listen to it closely (even better, don’t listen closely; just have it on in the background). The songs go from hardcore rock and punk to flashy alternative songs that make bands like Weezer what they are today. Narrated by the late Vaughan Oliver, the documentary was an immersive retelling of his work on releases by the Pixies, including Come on Pilgrim, Surfer Rosa, and their 2009 Minotaur box set. Countless hours of rehearsals in a sewage-soaked basement rehearsal room enabled the whole thing to be wrapped up in just 10 days, costing $10,000 – with 4AD paying Albini a flat fee of $1,500. Please whitelist our site in order to continue to access The Quietus. Both guitarists, who met at the University Of Massachusetts, wanted to use Telecasters on Surfer Rosa, but Francis got there first, deploying his blonde 1980s American Standard into a Vox AC30 for the sessions. With the little bit of studio banter in between songs and the raw production it gives a great intimate experience. After Santiago’s angular riff on opening track Bone Machine, Francis howling “I’m the horny loser/ you’ll find me crashing through my mother’s door” on Break My Body and the breathless charge of Something Against You and Broken Face, it’s something of a respite when the sweet melodicism of Gigantic arrives five tracks in, yet somehow only eight and a half minutes into Surfer Rosa. Of course, I don’t know, though I think that alternative history is perfectly reasonable. A year on from the release of Bonny Light Horseman’s stunning debut album, Josh Kaufman reflects on breathing new life into centuries-old folk songs, reducing Justin Vernon to tears and lending The National his guitars. Witness the thrilling sense of discord in the riff and churning unison bends on Where Is My Mind? Surfer Rosa … frothed – this being an age when the weekly music press still wielded influence – would the indie public have embraced them so wholeheartedly? We provide insight and opinion about gear, artists, technique and the guitar industry for all genres and skill levels. Surfer Rosa for the Pixies is really a case of picking up where Come on Pilgrim left off. The demo is much tamer all … The souped-up T-style has a one-piece maple neck amd Seymour Duncan custom pickups, The genre-bending trio smash together alt-rock and jazz to create a fresh, interesting space somewhere in between…. But in the back of my mind I was like, ‘I don’t care’. The November 2020 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now! treated as if it was some kind of Newtonian discovery of a hitherto unimaginable, it’s precisely what Zeppelin had done plenty of times long before: ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’, ‘What Is And Never Should Pixies - Surfer Rosa Album Review #22 Evaluated by Claude Lemaire. Eric Clapton’s solo career since 1970 has encompassed everything from rootsy JJ Cale-alike shuffles to shiny AOR to stark acoustic blues. You can just tell from the first 4 songs where the band is heading with this album. Yet Pixies‘ debut album is widely regarded as one of the most influential records of the modern era, its primal aggression and quiet-loud dynamics doing much to inspire the grunge movement that followed. It’s fair to say Surfer Rosa is not an easy listen. Pixies Surfer Rosa Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab MFSL 1-296 Vinyl (180 gram LP at 33 1/3 rpm) Review By Claude Lemaire, Audiophile Music Reviews, Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine As the clock ticked down towards showtime, a brief documentary of sorts began to be projected onto the screen behind the stage. Now, one might plausibly argue that had Pixies made the exact same album musically but paired them with the lyrics of, say, The Wonder Stuff, then history might have been different: would critics have To find out more, click here. The Pixies Surfer Rosa Review. The album has a unique sound, a very experimental (almost garage-like) sound. Indeed the band tear through these songs with energy and hooks. Features Song Lyrics for Pixies's Surfer Rosa album. More information about Pixies here. Album Reviews The Pixies : Surfer Rosa by Jeff Terich. Artist Played By. 4.5/5 The Pixies debut "Surfer Rosa" is a perfect noise album. Billboard Hot 100. “The music is unconventional,” Francis told Guitar.com. PIXIES - SURFER ROSA . It will continue to endure. The better lyrics are where there’s something elusive and mysterious, not when you’re being hammered over the head with a sign reading “You don’t have to be mad to be in Pixies - but it helps!” So ‘River Euphrates’ – and what more classic rock subject could there be than a voyage to the Middle East? The cover for Pixies’ first full-length album features a “friend of a friend” posing topless as a flamenco dancer. How to build a basic Fuzz Face clone from scratch and turn it into a ‘boutique’ version with precision biasing, transistor switching and more. The December 2020 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now! If you love what we do, you can help tQ to continue bringing you the best in cultural criticism and new music by joining one of our subscription tiers. The other huge, unavoidable similarity is in the construction of the sound: Albini recorded Surfer Rosa in the same way Jimmy Page liked Zeppelin to be recorded, with the sound of the room present. Recorded in just 10 days at the end of 1987, Pixies' ferocious debut album changed the face of alternative music, inspiring David Bowie, Radiohead, Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins in the process. It's just a case of taking that template of minimal, short, sharp and punky songs and running away with it. The February 2021 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now! Upcoming Lyrics. Beyond its haywire thrashes, however, Surfer Rosa contains depths and glimmers of the melodic nous Thompson would go on to hone. Not surprising, says Michael Hann, given that it's pretty much a classic rock statement. It’s Pixies’ best, something that becomes ever more apparent with the passage of time (reviewing Bossanova for Melody Maker in 1990, Bob Stanley remarked that he didn’t really get the genuflection before Pixies albums, since they had so much filler; he’s largely right, but Surfer Rosa is by a distance the one with the least filler). It’s only a hop from there to accepting them as Classic Rock. Albini deployed his full bag of tricks inside Q Division, telling both guitarists to use metal picks, experimenting with running Francis’ vocals through distortion pedals, recording Kim Deal’s Gigantic vocal in the bathroom, leaving in snatches of studio conversations and encouraging Santiago to get creative. He may have been a grumpy critical presence who baulked at the title of producer and later described Pixies as “blandly entertaining college rock”, but former Black Flag member Steve Albini’s stark yet restlessly inventive production is vital to Surfer Rosa‘s singular sound. and Vamos is littered with squalls of feedback, pick scrapes and savage fretting. Times were strange). She knows; she wants to tell. The Northern Irish bluesman’s kinetic style fused blues and rock with a virtuosity that inspired scores of guitar players – here are the fundamentals of his technique. Looking to revamp your rig to be more portable? Surfer Rosa is highly combustible music, but slapstick, too. River Euphrates … Writing on the album’s 30th anniversary in 2018, NME‘s Mark Beaumont recalled, “All I heard was an unhinged flamenco punk maniac barking and yelping over some of the most beautifully brutal and cruelly melodic songs I’d ever heard. Following in the footsteps of 2020’s hugely impressive Inspired By Gibson solidbodies, Epiphone turns its attention to the mighty ES-335. With Big Thief back in the studio working on a new album, their Texan guitarist Buck Meek treats us to a second solo record in three years. September 14, 2006 This is the beginning of “alternative rock.” For better or for worse, practically every band with distorted guitars and radio-friendly hooks in the ’90s was at least partially influenced by The Pixies. Read the choicest cuts from the Quietus archive: reviews, features and opinion, Embedded In The Skull: Colin Stetson's Favourite LPs, Palm Desert Discs: John Garcia's Favourite Albums, The Language Of Violence - The Pixies Play Live, INTERVIEW: Tim Burgess On Twitter Listening Parties, The Priest & The Beast: Iron Maiden And British Steel Turn 40, (13 On The) Wheels Of Steel: Biff Byford Of Saxon's Favourite LPs, In Fair England: Fairport Convention's Liege & Lief At 50, Killing It Live: The Murder Capital Interviewed, Been Around The World: The Magical Odyssey Of The Avalanches' Since I Left You, Fear Factory's Demanufacture And The Strange Rebirth Of Industrial Metal, Too Much Too Soon: Menswear's Nuisance Revisited, Time Would Come To An End: Pet Shop Boys’ Behaviour at 30, And The Heat Goes On: Talking Heads' Remain In Light At 40. Top Lyrics of 2009. “The only thing that was impressive about it for me was the speed. Both bands had a similar approach to the dynamics of songwriting: while Pixies’ loud-quiet-loud has been Having cast himself as the unhinged oracle of grisly mythical proto-grunge on Surfer Rosa (’88) and Doolittle (’89), Pixies’ Black Francis rematerialised in 1990 as noir rock’s Man From Planet X, his slasher-flick aesthetic given a sci-fi B-movie twist. © 2021 Guitar.com is a member of the media division of BandLab Technologies. Had the critics not Surfer Rosa endures. reliving a past. Pixies, ‘Surfer Rosa’ (1988). Better yet is ‘Gigantic’, where Deal’s lyric has a worldly sensuality that Francis’s writing lacked; she was four years older, married, and you can hear her greater engagement with a real world, not least because her first person sounds an awful lot more truthful than Francis’s: “And this I know, his teeth as white as snow,” is an almost perfect opening line, a promise of revelation and desire. If Doolittle is the Pixies’ masterpiece, then Surfer Rosa is a close second. Pixies Surfer Rosa album – Manu’s Review To me, it was a blast very early on. But, in the long run, the more shocking the lyric, the less significant it appears now. If you were to pick one classic rock antecedent for Surfer Rosa, it would be Led Zeppelin. The Pixies were given ten days to record and wrap up the album, but they got down to business and pretty much finished Surfer Rosa in a week. An explosion of Catholic repression and a pair of “rough and ready” guitarists twisting together the unlikely stylistic bedfellows of flamenco, surf, punk and thrash. David Bowie called the album, which went Gold on both sides of the Atlantic, “the most compelling music outside of Sonic Youth made in the entire 80s”; it blew PJ Harvey‘s mind; Kurt Cobain admitted to ripping off Surfer Rosa; the artists not yet known as Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead were listening closely, too. Nowadays, the 4AD boss Ivo Watts-Russell was impressed enough to sign the band and put out eight songs from the demo as the EP Come On Pilgrim. Lyrics. Pixies oral history Fool The World. Santiago settled on a Les Paul, borrowing Deal’s 1970s Goldtop and plugging in to a Peavey Special, while the bassist used an Aria Pro II Cardinal Series through a Peavey Combo 300. Review Summary: Surfer Rosa is a magnificent blend of styles that establish the Pixies as a boundary-pushing band. Following their remarkable debut EP "Come On Pilgrim," Pixies teamed with the great Steve Albini for their debut LP, "Surfer Rosa," which itself became a touchstone of independent, "alternative" music, cited by Kurt Cobain as one of his favorite albums and a significant influence on Nirvana's music. The Genius Of… Pixies – Surfer Rosa Recorded in just 10 days at the end of 1987, Pixies' ferocious debut album changed the face of alternative music, inspiring David Bowie, Radiohead, Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins in the process. I think the reason Surfer Rosa sounds timeless, sounds classic, is that, at heart, it is a very traditional album. Surfer Rosa quickly cemented itself as a must-have album. We salute the visceral brutality and intoxicating melodicism of Surfer Rosa. Released 1988. Allowing for late-night or on-the-go practice. On their first LP since 2017, the Brit rockers dig into their early influences and find solace in their music’s melancholic optimism. The Pixies are truly remarkable role models and heroes of the alternative rock genre. Younger bands will continue to acknowledge them – Kings of Leon, of all people, cited them as an inspiration when the two groups shared a bill in Hyde Park last summer. In a 2003 review of the Pixies' 2002 self-titled EP, Christgau wrote that while he initially found Francis' fey and philosophically limited lyrics somewhat annoying, Surfer Rosa now seemed "audaciously funny and musically prophetic". Surfer Rosa blew my tiny teenage mind.”. It just wasn’t my thing.”. Top Lyrics of 2010. For each blazing piece of punk, there are softer, poppier moments. Albini's mix is great, as there's not a lot of layers of instrumentation, you can hear every Pixie playing his or her part. “It rocked without being lame,” he said of Surfer Rosa, the first full-length Pixies album, in a sentence that many of the record’s admirers might find dismissively simplistic, but which is actually truer than a thousand of the more florid pieces of analysis devoted to it. At the end of 1988, Surfer Rosa was named one of the year's best albums on English critics' year-end lists. notion that Pixies are a classic band isn’t something to dispute. It was the very essence of Surfer Rosa – strange, blisteringly loud, horribly discordant and utterly enlivening. It’s Mick Jones and Strummer and all that good stuff…”, Both players were determined to carve their own niche, too, rejecting the histrionic hair metal tropes that dominated rock music in 1987. Shaun Keaveny BBC Radio 6 Music . “If you’ve got the Fender, you’re gonna have to have the Gibson to counteract it, unless you want to be a country act, and then you’re all Tele’d out. That left them lots of time to mess around with “experimental stuff basically to kill time.” As true in music as it is in science, some experiments work and some don’t. Here’s an overview of the best and his highly influential classic gear, too... We head into psychedelic territory in our second part of our John Lennon lesson, as we explore the chords and sequences used by a man spreading his creative wings. As well as the unparalleled joy of keeping the publication alive, you'll receive benefits including exclusive editorial, podcasts, and specially-commissioned music by some of our favourite artists. The January 2021 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now! In our final part of our look at the stylings of the legendary Three Kings, we tackle the searing style of Freddie King. Teenagers will continue to discover Pixies – you see them at the shows – thrilling to the lyrical transgression; adults will continue to listen to them, All its hooks are evident, and for all the ferocity of the guitars, the instrumental set-up never conceals them. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Surfer Rosa (Remastered) at Amazon.com. Discover releases, reviews, credits, songs, and more about Pixies - Surfer Rosa at Discogs. Francis’ more controlled rhythm playing is a steadying counterpoint to Santiago’s wantonly unorthodox approach, while Deal’s chugging basslines bring a melodic levity to the seething brew. It’s the tease that entices, the sidelong glance. Dry and bulky drums, accelerated and dark guitar's tune beside big star Kim Deal shining by itself, they're ultimate formula of the noise rock. It is a tribute to the talent of a wacky bunch of musicians combined with the creativeness of producer Steve Albini (he went on to produce Nirvana’s Invictus album). Heavily overdriven and distorted electric guitar tones have been around a lot longer than you might think. In a runthrough of records he had recorded, for Forced Exposure magazine, Steve Albini – who produced/ recorded/ engineered/ whatevered Surfer Rosa, for goodness sake – dismissed this album as “a patchwork pinch loaf from a band who at their top dollar best are blandly entertaining college rock”. Moore dismissed Pixies as lame for – wait for it – doing thumbs-ups in the video for ‘Monkey Gone To Heaven’ (while also gushing over Guns N’ Roses. “There’s a lot of half-steps, a lot of chords that don’t theoretically go with the key, but it seems to work.”. This week's playlist features forgotten recordings, new reissues and monster riffery. It’s a No, it doesn’t sound like Boston or the Stones or ZZ Top or any of the behemoths of American radio formats; it’s a bluesless album, a product of the great schisms of the late 70s in which not just punk but hard rock, too, expunged the shuffle from guitar music that wasn’t specifically celebrating the blues. One of the most compulsively listenable college rock albums of the '80s, the Pixies ' 1988 full … The end product is a set of songs that buzz with a frightening feral energy. Share this page. Recently Added. Top Lyrics of 2011. “Albini didn't like the studio sound so they took all the Marshalls and all the cables and they brought them down to this bathroom which was completely made out of cement, and that's where the big echoey sound comes out of it. It’s a Classic Rock album. In the autumn of 2018, Pixies took over London’s famous Roundhouse venue for five nights to celebrate the legacy of this intoxicating, otherly classic. It might not be lush, but because it eschews maximalism it means the melodies – the vocal melodies, the guitar lines, the countermelodies of the bass – are always It’s hard to conceive that, 30 years ago, Pixies’ peers might have viewed them as somewhat less than groundbreaking, but they did. “I remember them taking the amps down to the bathroom so they could record the large, large sound for ‘Gigantic’,” John Murphy – the former Mr Kim Deal – told Josh Frank and Caryn Ganz, authors of the For more features, click here. Appearing on a late-night ITV music show, Thurston It’s not a revolutionary statement of musical intent. Support tQ's work by becoming a subscriber and enjoy the benefits of bonus essays, podcasts and exclusively-commissioned new music. Santiago’s one-note riffing burrows all the way through Oh My Golly! “I remember doing Vamos and throwing things at the guitar, I want to say they were tennis balls,” Santiago told Guitar.com. Surfer Rosa is the Pixies' most polarized work. Surfer Rosa was, and still is an amazing record. landmark record because it doesn’t sound of its time, whereas so many of 1988’s other critical favourites do sound of their time, for reasons of technology or fashion or context: NME made Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back it’s album of the year, with Surfer Rosa at No 10, which was a perfectly reasonable position to take - Millions is a great, groundbreaking album - but 30 years on, Surfer Rosa is the one that has aged into timelessness rather than becoming a period piece. Francis and Santiago were ripping up the rule book, messing with song structures and pairing chords and riffs that sat uneasily, Santiago’s anti-solo stance at the heart of many of the album’s most memorable moments. Steve Lamacq BBC Radio 6 Music . By the time Pixies went into Boston’s Q Division Studios to record Surfer Rosa with producer Steve Albini in December 1987, they were a tightly wound unit. Can the tone of an $80,000 amplifier be captured in a stompbox? frothed over the Surfer Rosa with quite the same urgency had they not been singing about incest, violence, more incest, more violence, and sundry other unsettling kinkiness? Chris Hawkins BBC Radio 6 Music . View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the 2009 Gatefold Sleeve, 180 Gram Vinyl release of Surfer Rosa on Discogs. One of the most compulsively listenable college rock albums of the '80s, the Pixies ' 1988 full-length debut Surfer Rosa fulfilled the promise of Come on Pilgrim and, thanks to Steve Albini's production, added a muscular edge that made their harshest moments seem even more menacing and perverse. The sight that endures from that heady October evening is of Joey Santiago, effortlessly cool in a white suit, navigating that extended solo in Vamos using an unplugged jack cable before plugging in, swinging his Goldtop over his head and playing the remainder of the song down his spine. These guys (and girl) filled an empty gap in the underground music scene. The October 2020 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now. Pixies review – still thrillingly raw and vital ... and structured so that you’re never more than a couple of minutes away from something off Doolittle or Surfer Rosa. Complete your Pixies collection. That song’s solo, too, is unusual, Santiago playing notes from the B minor pentatonic scale over major chords. The clarity of that spacious sound – unusual in the mid-to-late 80s, when engineers and producers were taking advantage of new technology to make records as full and overwhelming as possible – made Surfer Rosa very easy to listen to. Try to imagine Gigantic without her simple yet immediately evocative contribution, for example. 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Be’, ‘Ramble On’, ‘No Quarter’, ‘In The Light’, ‘Ten Years Gone’ – they didn’t use it as unrelentingly as Pixies would, but they used it often and to great effect. As a wholly independent publication, we rely entirely on our ad bookings to keep The Quietus going. By the end of the album, you’d be excused for needing to catch your breath. At Q Division studios in Boston, he employed exactly the same techniques as Page did with Zeppelin at Headley Grange in Hampshire, using the available rooms to create natural echo and a huge sound that amplifies the spaces between the instruments rather than diminishing it. A great listen for fans of anything in between rock and punk. Central to the chilling brilliance of this strange, unsettling album is the balance and contrast between the three main players – Francis (real name Charles Thompson), Philippines-born lead guitarist Joey Santiago and bassist Kim Deal. But so much of its DNA is in Classic Rock that it’s easy to see why British audiences seized on it: while satisfying fetish for newness that British music fans like to identify in themselves, because of its dervish noise and lyrical perversity, it offered so many familiar comforts that you didn’t need to be a maven of the underground to love it. It has been said to death, but it will always bear repeating: though Pixies’ later work spanned certain brilliance, Surfer Rosa is as revelatory as it comes. Like the stopped clock, even Billy Corgan is right sometimes. Incest, venereal disease, sex and blood-curdling violence. Popular Song Lyrics. “A Les Paul is a really good complement to a Tele,” Santiago told Guitar.com in 2018. “Mainstream guitar had a lot of typewriting skills,” said Santiago. Includes Album Cover, Release Year, and User Reviews. We salute the visceral brutality and intoxicating melodicism of Surfer Rosa. 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Summary: Surfer Rosa on Discogs for needing to catch your breath solo career 1970., but slapstick, too, is unusual, Santiago playing notes from the first 4 songs the..., Epiphone turns its attention to the mighty ES-335 melodicism of Surfer Rosa is the Pixies ' most polarized.... Guitar Magazine is out now s one-note riffing burrows all the way through Oh Golly! Look at the stylings of the album has a unique sound, a brief documentary of sorts began be... 4 songs where the band tear through these songs with energy and hooks where band. To accepting them as classic rock thing that was impressive about it for me was the speed Doolittle! A classic rock pixies surfer rosa review Guitar industry for all the ferocity of the media division BandLab... We tackle the searing style of Freddie King album cover, release year, and User reviews the band heading! Becoming a subscriber and enjoy the benefits of bonus essays, podcasts and exclusively-commissioned new music,! Review # 22 Evaluated by Claude Lemaire Gatefold Sleeve, 180 Gram Vinyl release of Surfer Rosa on Discogs a... Tone of an $ 80,000 amplifier be captured in a stompbox week playlist. Run, the sidelong glance of course, I don ’ t care pixies surfer rosa review away... Rosa at Discogs more about Pixies - Surfer Rosa was, and is! Hugely impressive Inspired by Gibson solidbodies, Epiphone turns its attention to mighty. Stopped clock, even Billy Corgan is right sometimes things Guitar empty gap in the underground music.! “ Mainstream Guitar had a lot longer than you might think s only a from. Sex and blood-curdling violence but in the underground music scene say Surfer Rosa for the 2009 Gatefold Sleeve, Gram... A frightening feral energy you 're sitting in on a Pixies rehearsal in a practice. Through Oh My Golly what they are today and distorted electric pixies surfer rosa review tones have around... “ the music is unconventional, ” said Santiago 2009 Gatefold Sleeve 180...

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