Lauren Spike’s Favourite Releases of 2017


Punk Albums 2017 and more! Here are my top 5 picks for 2017 releases.  Albums include releases from The Electric Dead, The Creepshow, Dirty Work, Bad Cop/Bad Cop and Plan 37. I also give Toronto hardcore punk favourites Brutal Youth a nod, as I started listening to them this year and I was really blown away. I’ll include links to all the albums so you can check it out for yourself if you haven’t already. Me right now–>

punk albums 2017

LOL. But seriously, I’m sure you’ve heard of these bands. Especially if you are on my Facebook.

Punk Albums 2017

#1 The Electric Dead – Self-Titled (Devil Rock) (Self-Released)


Devil Rock? Horror Punk? Rock ‘n’ Roll? Yeah I don’t know what to label this band, but I love it! Released Friday, October 13, 2017, this is definitely my most listened to album of 2017 releases. Their tunes are so catchy that I knew all the words to the songs and was singing along before the album came out; Just from seeing them live a bunch of times. It’s hard to pick a “stand out” or “favourite” track because every song on this album is single worthy (No filler here). Buuuuttt my favourite track might be If You Love the Dead. Probably because it reminds me of my own debut Lauren Spike album Devil Skull– where I had to put the word “Dead” in almost every song LOL. Maybe I’ll cover it one day.

A song you might remember from their live show is When All is Lost (Satan Wants You) with the sing-a-long chorus “Satan wants you”. If you haven’t seen The Electric Dead live; What are you waiting for? 

For more info check out:


#2 The Creepshow – Death at My Door (Psychobilly) (Stomp Records)

Haters gonna hate! I LOVE the last two Creepshow albums. Stomp Records seems to be the place to be to check out Canadian Punk, Psychobilly and Ska. The album stays true to the classic Creepshow sound and brings the band to a new level. My favourite track off The Creepshow‘s new album has got to be Blood, Blood, Blood. They have YouTube videos for tracks Sticks & Stones and Death At My Door. The production and sound on this album is top notch with recording/mixing/mastering done at Drive Studios with Steve Rizun. Kendra’s vocals have never sounded better. Other stand out tracks include ‘Til Death Do Us Part and A.O.T.B.H.

For more info check out:


#3 Plan 37 – Say Goodbye (Punk) (Self-Released)

Another album that should be on everyone’s best punk albums 2017 list is from Toronto locals Plan 37. I believe this is the first full length album from the band. The album includes some previously released material such as On the Run and some new songs. If you like old-skool style melodic punk, you will like this. With stand out tracks, Already Here & Say Goodbye, the sound reminds me of something you would hear from Hellcat Records.

For more info check out:


#4 Bad Cop/Bad Cop – Warriors (Punk) (Fat Wreck Chords)

As far as “Punk Albums 2017” go, this was the most highly anticipated album for me. After seeing them open for the Interrupters last year at the Hard Luck Bar, I was hooked. At the show, I picked up their debut full-length album, Not Sorry and listened to it non-stop. Immediately following the Interrupters tour, the band began recording this new album. Spending roughly six weeks between Hurley Studios and Maple Sound Studios with their longtime collaborator and producer Davey Warsop, with mixing and mastering by Jason Livermore (Descendents, Lagwagon). The new album, Warriors, stays true to the Bad Cop/Bad Cop sound with intense vocal harmonies and “fight-for-the-under-dog” oriented lyrical content.  Stand out tracks include Amputations and Womanarchist.

For more info check out:


#5 Dirty Work – Out for You (Oi Punk) (Self-released/Food waste records/Back from the dead records)

Talk about punk albums 2017! Busy! Busy! Busy! Not only did this band release their full length album Out for You in March of this year, but they have just released a split EP with ShortFuse. When the band isn’t putting out albums they are touring or playing shows in Toronto. Usually at punk underground heavyweight bar; Coalition. I never get sick of some good ol’ Oi Punk! My favourite tracks include Rash Boogie with the “Summer lovin’ ” interlude and self-titled track Dirty Work.

For more info check out:


Just A Mention…


Brutal Youth – Sanguine (Hardcore Punk) (Stomp Records)


Goddammit this is a great album! I picked it up when I opened for them and the Creepshow at the Bovine Sex Club. It was released in September 2016, but it feels like a 2017 album to me because that’s when I discovered it. The Electric Dead, The Creepshow and Brutal Youth are the artists that I have been listening to the most this year and that have made my year musically.

The track Whiteway really speaks to me with lyrics with “I know you tried to end your life/So fucking glad you’re still alive”. I have said those words to people in my life and it doesn’t matter how much to say that to someone dealing with mental issues, their demons are their own. Who knows, maybe this song will resonate with someone in that situation. Having dealt with friends’ suicides there are some people I wish I could say that to (again).

My favourite track on the album is The King which has a YouTube video:

What were your favourite albums of 2017?

Punk Albums 2017?

Any artists make your year?




Rancid Toronto – July 29/17, Rancid and Dropkick Murphys & AFTER PARTY

rancid toronto

Rancid Toronto – Rancid hits Toronto on July 29th, 2017 as part of their co-headlining tour, From Boston to Berkeley, with The Dropkick Murphys.

***Scroll Down for AFTER PARTY Info***


Rancid Toronto

If you don’t already have tickets. Well, I guess you are shit out of luck, unless you want to pay scalper prices. The From Boston to Berkeley Toronto tour stop at Echo Beach is sold out. The last time Rancid was in Toronto was for Riot Fest 2015 – which was the last time the festival was held in Toronto. Dropkick Murphys were here last September as part of TURF – Toronto Urban Roots festival. Also on the bill are The Bouncing Souls and Jake Burns  (best known as the front-man for Stiff Little Fingers). This co-headlining bill was something Canadian punk lovers couldn’t miss out on. Other sold out dates on the tour include Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Asbury Park NJ and Sacramento CA.

Rancid Toronto After Party

Remember when Rancho Relexo used to have punk shows upstairs? Well, that space has now been officially turned into a new underground music venue called Stop, Drop & Roll. If you couldn’t get tickets, or if you want something to do after the Rancid show. There is an after party show going on at Stop, Drop & Roll, 300 College St. Pink door above Rancho Relaxo.
Keep your Rancid/Dropkick Murphys Ticket stub, this will grant you free entry into the after party.
If you don’t have tickets to Rancid/Dropkick Murphys you can buy $5 adv. tickets at

The after party show will feature many local punk favourites including The Liquor Pigs, Cadillac Blood, Censor and Punkabilly act Lauren Spike.
rancid toronto

From Echo Beach to Stop, Drop & Roll

Stop, Drop & Roll is one streetcar ride from Echo Beach. Just take the 511 Bathurst streetcar from Exhibition Loop and get off at College St. Walk east, toward Spadina past Augusta Ave. It is the Pink door above Rancho Relaxo.

From Union Station to Stop, Drop & Roll

If you are coming to/from Union station, it is also one streetcar ride. Just take the 510 Spadina streetcar to College and then walk west. The Spadina streetcar is kinda tricky to find if you are new to the city. You go to the TTC at union station and down to the subway platform where the Subway runs. There you will see signs directing you to the “streetcars”.

You could always just take the subway from Union station and walk from Queen’s park or take the 506 streetcar west on College. But personally I’d take the Spadina streetcar.


Just type in 300 College St. into Google and away you go!

More Links:

Facebook event here.

BlogTO event

NowToronto Listing

Exclaim Listing

JustShows Listing

Hardcore Punk All Weekend at Coalition: T.O. (July 14-15, 2017)

You like hardcore punk? Coalition is the place to be this weekend!


hardcore punk july14 coalition

FRIDAY JULY 14th 2017

On Friday night, PANTYCHRIST headline a full on assault of a hardcore punk-metal garage-rock crossover.

PANTYCHRIST is the finest in local hardcore punk. The band formed in Hamilton in 2003.  As opposed to other local bands in the genre, Pantychrist have a growing catalogue of recorded output. For more info, check out their bandcamp:

Recently, Pantychrist have been playing select shows and are presently working on a new album. The 2017 touring lineup consists of vocalist Danyell DeVille, guitarist Emma-O, bassist Lexxi La Roux, and drummer Emma Sunstrum.

Here is a little taste of some new music:

More Info on PANTYCHRIST here.

Other bands on the bill on Friday:


THE NUDE DOGS (garage-punk)

KEELIE (Hardcore/Rock/Punk)

Facebook Event here.


On Saturday, we got one of my personal favourites, BEAVER SLAP, to close off the night. These ladies stormed onto the scene back in 2012 and I have been a fan ever since. They are based out of Barrie, Ontario and have gnawed their way into countless hearts across their home province.  I had the pleasure of having them on my CD release show a couple years back and I recently played a show in Niagara Falls with their new line-up.

Below is a sneak peak of their new line-up, but seeing is believing. Come out on Saturday!

For more info, visit:

Other bands on the bill:

Artificial Dissemination (punk)
Caustic Lime (thrash punk)
The Residuos (punk)
Bacon (punk)

See Saturday’s Facebook event here.

Now, admittedly I was going to write a post on RIOT GRRRLs or All-female Hardcore punk bands at Coalition this weekend, but let’s be real. These headlining bands are arguably some of the best hardcore punk bands coming out of the local scene right now and gender has nothing to do with it! Don’t believe me? GO SEE THEM LIVE. I’ll be there, but my mohawk will be down so you probably won’t recognize me ;).

Photoshop Tutorial: How to Make a Punk Rock Poster

poster tutorial


Need a poster for a gig?

Never fear, a D.I.Y. poster tutorial is here! Having a captivating image can help people notice your show. You can share it online. Adding a visual element to social shares is proven to attract more attention than social media posts with no images. The old school method of printing off posters to hang in the bar or in a record store still works! Every gig you do should have some sort of poster. Here is how you can do it yourself!

Poster Tutorial

Here is a simple poster tutorial! In this video I show you how to make a quick and easy punk rock poster in Adobe Photoshop. I also used Adobe Illustrator to copy and paste in a feature image, but you could skip this step by just using File–Place in Photoshop. This is a simple technique that can be applied in various ways.




Below are the websites used and a step-by-step guide.

Websites used in Tutorial:


Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Make a new file 8.5″ x 11″ (In Photoshop)
Step 2: Get Background Image (I search the keyword “Grunge”)
Step 3: Get Fonts (From
Step 4: Install Fonts (My computer– C: drive — windows — fonts. Drag new fonts into Font folder)
Step 5: Get Feature Image (From or use a band photo, etc.)
Step 6: Paste or Place into Photoshop, change blending mode to Multiply
Step 7: Put in Info using the your fonts
Step 8: Center Image and Text (using align tool)
Step 9: Save!


Don’t Have Photoshop?

You could always go the old school approach. Drawing a poster with a marker, or literally cutting and pasting print letters and photos can give you a D.I.Y. punk look with no technical skills needed. All you need to do is bring your flyer to a local print centre and make black and white copies. See this blog post for some examples:


or North by Northeast is an annual music and arts festival held in each June in Toronto. Each year NXNE presents hundreds of bands from Canada and around the globe in over 50 of Toronto’s music venues. Many of us Torontians know NXNE for it’s 4am last calls. All week, Toronto bars are able to apply for a special festival liquor license that enables them to sever alcohol until 4am (Normally cut-off is 2am). Thus, NXNE is know as a major “party” week in the city.

This year the NXNE music festival runs from June 16 – 25th. In the past, NXNE has hosted international punk rock headliners such as Iggy and the Stooges, Social Distortion, and Bad Religion.

This year, their line-up for bigger shows lacks punk rock artists. If you are looking for a good punk/rock show I’d suggest checking out their Club Land: Curator Series.  Bands are selected by leaders in the industry such as Ian D’sa from Billy Talent and Dine Alone Record punkers’ The Dirty Nil. Grab your $20 Curator Series wristband at any of these shows or at / ticketscene.

My Picks Calendar for NXNE 2017

There are  numerous punk rock bands/shows playing the club nights with the 4am last calls. Below I picked one favourite NXNE show for each day:


Friday June 16th

NXNE Presents: Cadillacs & Cadavers, Ship Of Fools + MORE

To kick off the NXNE festivities, there’s a D.I.Y. punk show at Hard Luck Bar.
These are all independent bands. No record labels, no managers, d i y punk at it’s best.
My personal favourites Cadillacs and Cadavers will bring you an energetic punk show that you don’t want to miss!


Saturday June 17th

NXNE! Slamboni/SweaterPants/WetBandits/MustardJunkies/Green Girl

You just don’t find bands like Slamboni anymore.
Combining ska, punk and reggae into an action-packed rock anthem format in a way that manages to be both fresh and nostalgic!


Sunday June 18th

Thrashards / Burdizzo / Toxic Deathula

4 am last call at Stop Drop and Roll with some killer punk bands


Monday June 19th

Raina Douris curates the Bovine Sex Club, June 19th

Blunt Chunks
Pins & Needles


Tuesday June 20th

Free Punk show at Bovine

FREE PUNK SHOW! Need I say more? Everyone knows Tuesday is Free Punk show night
at the scene’s most long lasting punk/alt venue. You could literally go to the Bovine every night during NXNE and have a good time.


Wednesday June 21th

The Dirty Nil curate The Garrison

More details at:


Thursday June 22nd

NXNE Curator Series – Ian D’Sa (Billy Talent)

94.9 The Rock and Billy Talent’s Ian D’Sa bring you “What’s Brewing at NXNE”
sponsored by Budweiser and Porsche with The Lazys at the Horseshoe Tavern on June 22nd! My personal favourites The Anti-queens are one of
the openers and they are one of the best local punk rock bands going right now. Make sure to catch their set.


Friday June 23rd


NeXT@NXNE presents a double show at The Horseshoe Tavern. My favourites Munizo are on at 9:00


Saturday June 24th

NXNE at Cherry Colas//4am Last Call//Day 9//Saturday June 24

Gen Gorman
Melany Rez
The Less Unfortunates
The Sours
Killer virgins
more tba


Sunday June 25th

NXNE Music & Arts Conference in Toronto, Canada

Rock – Grandson

Top 5 Punkabilly/Punk Concert Venues in Toronto 2017

Hey Toronto Punk!

Hey Toronto punk, I’m going to list my favourite venues! Ok, so my list might be a little bias because as a musician, how clubs treat me when I play them definitely affects my opinion of them.  I will also take into account which ones I actually go to. My focus for this blog will be more on D.I.Y. shows.

toronto-punk-hard-luck-bar1. Hard Luck Bar

772A Dundas St W. (Dundas & Bathurst)

It brings in great quality touring punk and metal bands as well as hosts great local shows. Sometimes the bar is used by larger promotion companies such as Collective Concerts, when they need a medium sized venue to host a punk crowd. As a local punk artist in Toronto, what I like about this bar is that they remember you. They will message you directly if they are interested in having you put on a show and will have you as an opener for a larger band if they need one.
More info at:


Punk-Toronto-Coalition2. Coalition

282 Augusta Ave. (Kensington Market)

The sound of the underground! A bar near and dear to my heart as I played the first Lauren Spike show there! It was nice that they gave lil’ ol’ me a chance. Great atmosphere and great place to play. This bar features a large stage, pinball machines and a couple couches placed around the venue for lounging. It is located in Kensington Market, right off College street on Augusta. Very nice staff and D.I.Y. vibe. I have seen many underground shows here that other venues might not have hosted. More info at


stop-drop-and-roll-toronto-punk3. Stop, Drop & Roll

300 College st. (above Rancho Relaxo, just look for the Pink door)

The new kid on the block! Stop, Drop & Roll has been opened since the last week of December in 2016 and has already hosted legendary punks The Dead Boys, among others. Across the street from Coalition, they recently did a joint show with the other venue where patrons could buy wrist bands and attend both club’s shows. Talk about supporting the scene, what a concept! The staff and people involved in this venue are really working hard to pump up the scene. Check it out if you haven’t already! More info at:


toronto-punk-bovine-sex-club4. Bovine Sex Club

542 Queen St W.

Talk about legendary, this Toronto punk club has been rockin’ it since early 1991! It is a must see location for anyone new to or visiting Toronto. The bar itself is used in a lot of Canadian movie and TV productions such as Orphan Black. When you visit, you’ll see why. It’s “the bar with all the crap on the walls”! The list of legendary punk bands that have played here is endless. Open 7 days a week, it’s hard NOT to play here as a punk band! The bar features great walk-in traffic and a home crowd. More info at:

toronto-punk-cherry-colas5. Cherry Colas

200 Bathurst St. (Queen and Bathrust)

Cherry Colas’ is not what you might normally think of when you think of a “punk Toronto venue”. It’s a bit too pretty, but don’t judge a book by it’s cover. This venue is not afraid to book indie punk bands. In fact, I’ve seen more “punk” bands play here than other so-called “punk venues”. The regulars at this club are not afraid to start a pit when things get a little punkified as well.
More info at:



CMW 2017 Presents Lauren Spike live at the Bovine Sex Club April 18th

CMW – Canadian Music Week is back in 2017 with hundreds of bands including 54/40, Good Charlotte and Melissa Etheridge.

CMW Showcase April 18th
cmw showcase bovine sex club april 18

As Canada’s largest new music festival, CMW combines as a music, comedy, and film festival, along with hosting a conference as well as a trade and award show. This marks CMW’s 35th year! CMW takes over Toronto’s downtown live music venues putting on artist showcases and concerts of all sizes.

This year CMW brings punkabilly to the forefront with an artist showcase featuring Toronto’s punk favourite Lauren Spike. Lauren Spike will be preforming a 40 minute set with her band which will consist of new, unreleased songs. Emerging from the punk scene of Toronto, Ontario, Lauren Spike came out with her debut EP “Devil Skull” in June 2015. Stand out tracks include “Devil’s Girl” and “Bloodsucker” which both have remarkable D.I.Y. videos on Youtube. Embodying the D.I.Y. (Do-It-Yourself) punk spirit, Lauren Spike has toured Canada, including a notable performance at Amnesia Rockfest 2016 – Canada’s largest music festival. The music of Lauren Spike appeals to punk, grunge, psychobilly and rock fans alike.

Show up to the Bovine Sex Club (542 Queen Street West – near Queen & Bathurst) at 10pm sharp on April 18th  to see this showcase.

Other bands on the bill include Montreal’s Paddle to the Sea, Kingston surf-rockers The Huaraches, and old-school punk band The Extroverts.

CMW presents Lauren Spike

Tickets available on the CMW website.

Other Links:
Facebook Event Here.
BlogTo Event Here.

The Interrupters and Bad Cop Bad Cop at Hard Luck Bar Toronto – Concert Review

Last night The Interrupters & Bad Cop Bad Cop, wowed audiences as they gave it their all in front of a packed crowd at Toronto’s Hard Luck Bar venue.

Bad Cop / Bad Cop


bad-cop-bad-cop toronto hard luckBad Cop / Bad Cop is a punk band from California who are signed to (NOFX/Fat Mike’s) the record company Fat Wreck Chords. It is no surprise that the band has recently been voted “Best Punk Band” by OC weekly.

I was pleasantly surprised that the band sounded almost exactly the same live as on the record – I mean this in a good way. No backing tracks here. The band was so tight that the drummer sounded like she was playing to a click track – though I could not see an in-ear monitor.   It was astonishing how well the band harmonized vocals live. All the members of the band can stand alone as great singers/musicians.

Stand out songs included Nightmare and It’s My Life.

It was differently worth the trip out just to see Bad Cop / Bad Cop. To say that I was “impressed” by the live performance would be an understatement. I picked up a copy of their debut full length CD “Not Sorry” which is out now on Fat Wreck Chords.



The Interrupters


The headliners of the night, The Interrupters, are a ska punk band signed to (RANCID/Tim Armstrong’s) record label Hellcat Records. They just released a new album entitled “Say it Out Loud”.

the-interrupters-toronto-hard-luck-barThe packed bar went crazy when The Interrupters took the stage. It seemed like a lot of the ska lovin’ fans had been waiting a long time to see The Interrupters live.

They had a great energy and interactive approach to their set. They asked the audience to shout out “requests” during a portion of their performance.

Crowd favourites included Family and Take Back the Power.

If you have haven’t seen The Interrupters or Bad Cop / Bad Cop yet don’t fret. They still have another month or so of this tour left. See tour dates below:

the interrupters and bad cop bad cop tour dates

Dr. Martens Goes Punkabilly with Demented are Go Pascal Boot

Dr. Martens teams up with legendary Welsh Psychobilly band, Demented are Go for a punkabilly inspired boot design. Dr. Martens states “As one of the first bands to mix punk rock with rockabilly, they trailblazed the psychobilly movement and we’re unbelievably proud to be working with them.1

The Demented are Go Pascal Boot features two album covers on a 1460 boot; Dr. Martens’ classic 8-eye boot with yellow welt and signature air cushioned sole. The albums inspiring the design include 1989 studio album “Demented Are Go Present… The Demon Teds ‎– The Day The Earth Spat Blood” and a 1990 live release, “Go Go Demented”.
(In some instances, you can purchase these two albums together SEE

Dr. Martens Demented are Go

Demented Are Go Present… The Demon Teds ‎– The Day The Earth Spat Blood Go Go Demented

Dr. Martens Go Go Demented

Demented Are Go – Go Go Demented











Demented are Go Pascal Boot


(Also available in Red)













Stand for Something

This isn’t the first time Dr. Martens has team up with a Psychobilly band. As part of their #standforsomething campaign and #standfornothing films, Dr. Martens worked with Female Psychobilly band As Diabatz.

When asked to comment on the #standforsomething Campaign, Dr. Martens says:

Throughout Dr. Martens history, the brand has been adopted and subverted by countless rebellious characters, subcultures and tribes. Dr. Martens wearers bring the shoes and boots to life, and should be recognized. These are the people who stand out from the crowd in their own unique way and for many, their journey of self-expression has always been accompanied by a pair of Dr. Martens. Dr. Martens A/W-13 campaign (What Do You Stand For?) celebrates these free-thinking individuals; from the first timers to those who have been with us forever. These are authentic characters who stand for something.

With all the available styles and colours of Dr. Martens, along with the British heritage, it’s no surprise that these boots are worn by punk rockers.









Has the Psychobilly/punkabilly sub culture adopted Dr. Martens boots? I think so,
and It looks like Dr. Martens has noticed!


I ordered my Demented are Go Dr. Martens from Email them for more info.

Nuit Blanche Toronto 2016 Punk Show

Nuit Blanche Toronto is a yearly art crawl in Toronto happening the first Saturday of October. This year, Nuit Blanche Toronto 2016 happens on Saturday October 1st. Nuit Blanche Toronto is an all-night free event that starts at dusk on Saturday October 1st, and ends at dawn.

A large number of people will rush the downtown core and wander around. When you get sick of the crowds, or need a break from walking, come into the Hard Luck Bar near Dundas & Bathurst at 772a Dundas St W. for a Nuit Blanche punk show. The show will have Free entry with password: Nuit Blanche. Otherwise it’s a $5 cover. This is a 19+ event.

Nuit Blanche Toronto 2016 Punk show

Nuit Blanche Toronto 2016 Punk show

This show features Toronto’s D.I.Y. punk scene in full force. Featuring bands:

Lauren Spike
Emerging from the punk scene of Toronto, Ontario, Lauren Spike came out with her debut EP “Devil Skull” in June 2015. Stand out tracks include “Devil’s Girl” and “Bloodsucker” which both have remarkable D.I.Y. videos on Youtube. Embodying the D.I.Y. (Do-It-Yourself) punk spirit, Lauren Spike has toured Canada, including a notable performance at Amnesia Rockfest 2016 – Canada’s largest music festival. The music of Lauren Spike appeals to punk, rockabilly/psychobilly and rock fans alike.

Toronto Punk Rock


Spoiler is a melodic skate punk band from Toronto, Canada. Influenced by Fat Wreck Chords style bands. Energetic live performances will melt your face off.

Critical Hit

Three guys that met up in a legendary man cave, stacked high with piles of wood to fuel the fires and fully loaded with Doug’s revenge, started playing music together searching for the fast and upbeat grooves that will move your bod.

Johnny Nocash

Celtic Drunk Rock hailing from Canada

Bands will be playing late into the night to capture all of your Nuit Blanche downtime.

Set Times:
Johnny Nocash: 9:30 – 10:00
Critical Hit: 10:15 – 10:45
Spoiler: 11:00 – 11:30
Lauren Spike: 11:45 – 12:15
Defile: 12:30 – 1:00/1:15

D.I.Y. punk rock and indie artists have always gone hand in hand. Creating art and music for the underground. So whether you’re into Punk, Art, or just going out and having a good time. Come to the Hard Luck on Saturday October 1st to support Toronto’s punk scene. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your new favourite band, meet some friends, or discover a great new hang out.

Facebook event:


Bandsintown link:

Now Toronto:

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