REVIEWS

CD and DVD reviews

Billy Ray Deiz – Rollin

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May 22, 2015
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Billy Ray Deiz’s “Rollin” is a cool and confident track. Aptly named the leisurely groove is near perfect as it takes its time establishing the mood. The organ serves as the song’s backbone with an expressive, classic rock sound. Playful at times the organ does great work in emphasizing the overall sense of hope...
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Billy Grima – Sugar & Cream

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May 21, 2015
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It isn’t enough to fill songs with the everyday details of your life. Let’s face it – most of us lead prosaic lives. We wake and sleep the same times every day. We keep appointments, put in appearances, and wade into each new day praying we have a marginal idea, at least, of what...
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Bunny Sigler – Bundino

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May 21, 2015
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Entertainers fade while true performers endure and evolve. Bunny Sigler’s transition from a talented young firebrand and one of Philadelphia soul’s biggest talents into an elder statesman still capable and willing to challenge himself with modern approaches proves essential facts about popular music. Fundamentals steady careers for the long haul and, above all, Sigler’s...
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Sir Ivan’s – “Kiss All The Bullies Goodbye”

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May 21, 2015
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Talk about subliminal messaging to the masses, talk about remixing the world, talk about bullying, talk about everything aforementioned and you’ve got Sir Ivan, an artist set to raise awareness to bullying through music. It’s time to “Kiss All The Bullies Goodbye,” and you may not know it, but that’s what you’re being trained...
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Mandy Woods – All Along – EP Review

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May 20, 2015
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Here’s a whole mitt-full of sounds you might not expect on this new EP All Along, and specifically Mandy Woods herself, a singer/song-writer of the folk-variety. Currently based in the UK, you can hear the accent creep through every once in a while…what can I say aside from it adds a little…hmm…like a little...
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Small Leaks Sink Ships – Face Yourself, and Remove Your Sandals

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May 20, 2015
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Small Leaks Sink Ships hits all the right notes with “Face Yourself, and Remove Your Sandals”. Cryptically titled the songs are wrought with genuine adoration for the world. Together the pieces come to form a story that grows ever larger with the additional chapters. Running the gamut from chamber pop a la Grizzly Bear...
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Troy Lindsey & Bosaya – “Outlaw Love”

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May 19, 2015
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Troy Lindsey & Bosaya’s “Outlaw Love” is a lazy river of comfortable country grooves. With a true feeling of Americana “Outlaw Love” nicely embodies all that is good about articulate, thoughtful country rock. It is a restrained and tasteful piece of work. From the steady persistent rhythm to the colorful guitar work the entire...
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Marchan Noelle – The Witching Hour (Acoustic)

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May 18, 2015
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“The Witching Hour” is a bewitching album. Marchan Noelle’s impassioned vocal delivery guides these lovely pieces. With an impressive range Marchan Noelle’s simple setup (a voice and a guitar) runs the gamut from folk to the angular precise work of bossa nova. Her lyrics explore want, desire, and the dynamics of relationships. Vocals are...
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Shayne Leighton – Invincible

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May 15, 2015
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Shayne Leighton’s creativity never stops turning. Not content with a considerable fan following resulting from her popular Of Light and Darkness fiction series and a promising acting career, this intelligent young artist and performer has readied her first music EP for release. Invincible is a six song collection full of songwriting recalling themes in...
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Alexis Keegan – “Nobody Compares”

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May 15, 2015
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Alexis Keegan, New Jersey born singer/songwriter, continues her climb towards widespread commercial success with her new single, “Nobody Compares”. This is the lead single from her upcoming EP, Endless Road, and marks her first new release since 2014’s Clean SLATE. There is an urban feel to her work, but it never sounds facile or...
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Head

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May 15, 2015
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Head is a sensual synthesized experience. These are songs that dig themselves deep into the mind and refuse to leave. With the right mixture of rock, pop, and a bit of glamour, Head create brash confident songs. Instrumentally the songs are rich in detail nicely balancing out the fragile sounds with the powerful. Everything...
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Sarantos – “What If I Never See You Again”

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May 12, 2015
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“What If I Never See You Again” recalls the best of early 90s rock. The grunge beginning blooms into an increasingly busy arrangement. Sarantos proves to be particularly adept in letting the lyricism neatly match the sense of optimism that takes hold over the rest of the song. Repetition serves as the backbone of...
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JoyFocus – Random Access Digital Audio Heresy

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May 11, 2015
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“Random Access Digital Audio Heresy” is a whole-hearted album full of optimism. JoyFocus takes a look at optimism from years of experience and hardship, not from naiveté. Colors of the sound are magnificent ranging from driving rock to chaotic unwieldy beasts. What weaves these songs together is Holly’s powerful voice. The songs work together...
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Leah Capelle

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May 8, 2015
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Chicago native singer/songwriter, Leah Capelle, is one to watch after releasing her first EP. Capelle is no stranger to the music scene as she has been writing songs, singing and performing from a young age. She later attended Berklee College of Music to pursue her passion for songwriting and performance. Both her natural talent...
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Secondborn – ‘Symbols’ – EP Review

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May 7, 2015
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This is one aggressively-melodic mofo! Brace yourselves for an onslaught of sound from Secondborn called Symbols – their second official release after the successful debut of their last EP A Call To Arms. Nothing to sneeze at whatsoever, Secondborn has gone on to gain over twenty-thousand rabid-fans attached to their sound and social media....
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Soul Chatter – “Sanctuary” – Single/Video Review

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May 7, 2015
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Pleasant! Nothing offensive on the ears here through the new single “Sanctuary” by Soul Chatter…it’s pretty easy listening and overall, seems like a pretty chilled-out vibe. With a video to support the new single full of bright & colourful imagery…”Sanctuary” puts a calm & relaxing mood in your soul…it’s a song that allows you...
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Whiskey Fever – Gonna’ Wake up this Whole Town

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May 6, 2015
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Review: Who doesn’t like Backwoods Rock? I’d all hands go up in the air. This style of music tended to be at times earthy, melodic, loud, a bit chaotic and filled with musical ruckus or whacky folk. Recently we’ve seen this style of music Moe, Widespread Panic, Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, The String Cheese...
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2Four – “24” – Mixtape Review

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May 6, 2015
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Get ready for this one! This new mixtape is being reviewed just slightly ahead of the release; 24 officially drops on May 5th, 2015 and we might very well see another future superstar declare their time with audible authority once this dynamic set of rhythms & verse hit the streets officially – tomorrow! So...
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Mark Newman – Brussels

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May 5, 2015
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I think I know what sort of album Mark Newman wants to record. His new EP, Brussels, is a near-perfect expression of his aims. This acoustic “one-off” released to document particularly impressive live performances from a Belgian venue has no clear intentions of being a major work, but it has an unmistakably tidy vision....
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Audrey Auld – Hey Warden

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May 4, 2015
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Behind prison walls, what can someone do to have these inmates voices heard? Audrey Auld took it upon herself to channel a creative program for these inmates that are stationed at San Quentin. In doing so, Audrey unleashed the hard realizations and struggles that happen within their walls. Using their stories and experiences but...
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Worldview – ‘Pop Philosophy’

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May 4, 2015
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Pop music could learn a thing or two from Worldview’s “Pop Philosophy”. An album that feels full-bodied Worldview is remarkably catchy with hooks that sink themselves deep into the mind. Due to the wide variety of different sounds Worldview incorporates (often within the same song) Worldview’s sound approximates Beck’s early eclectic and vibrant work....
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Staring Out The Sun – “Break the Silence”

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May 4, 2015
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Some aggressive and energetic rock from all the way from across the water, based in the UK and courtesy of Staring Out The Sun bears the fruit of some of the powerful sounds made famous in the late 90’s that still continue on strongly today – they’re completely all the evidence that you need...
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Joe Blessett – “Excuse Me”

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May 1, 2015
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Joe Blessett’s “Excuse Me” is a raw mixture of jazz, hip-hop and RnB as imagined by David Lynch. Employing a noir sensibility to the proceedings Joe Blessett’s work lives in an uneasy haze. Sounds churn, jazz samples are abundant throughout the songs, and well-crafted grooves anchor the pieces in place. Sprinkled above this immaculate...
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Lieder Distorsion – “Auf dem Fusse”

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May 1, 2015
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Full of passion, Lieder Distorsion’s name originates from a type of German song from the 19th century usually for a solo voice with piano accompaniment. Lieder Distorsion have their own take on the classical origins. Much of what they do feels akin to a new take on an old form of song craft. “Auf...
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Craymo – “Be Myself” and “Love You More”

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April 30, 2015
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Pop/Soul/Dance/Rocker Craymo (Craig Raymo) recently released 2 hot new singles. The first single is a retro britpop love song inspired by early Beatles, Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley and The Romantics. The second “Be Myself is an upbeat, anti-bullying pop anthem that gives you the courage to just be yourself, no matter what anyone else...
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Karen Mansfield – “Karen Mansfield”

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April 30, 2015
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Karen Mansfield’s self-titled collection is a bolt of energy. Her voice is strong and prominently displayed among the meticulous arrangements. A western twang ties the pieces together as does a focus on relationships. With these songs she manages to weave together a series of short vignettes into a greater whole. They feel akin to...
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Gumshen – “Digibites”

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April 30, 2015
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Gumshen’s DigiBites is downright infectious. With slinky electro grooves and effortlessly cool vocals, Gumshen shows that electro is far from over. Full of optimism the well-executed works are full of color. Pieces recall many of the staples of DFA’s roster, most particularly Holy Ghost! By letting their sound evolve gradually they are able to...
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JR Simmons – “This Country Town”

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April 29, 2015
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“This Country Town” celebrates the joy of living far away from the city. With a dreamy vocal delivery JR Simmons describes in exquisite detail the sense of community that exists in small communities. Nature plays a pivotal role within the lyrics as JR Simmons shows the greatest amount of affection for things like rivers,...
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Matthew Santos – “Into the Further”

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April 29, 2015
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Into the Further is a refined work. Matthew Santos weaves the songs together. Arrangements are elegant complete with flourishes of folk, classical, jazz, and rock in a perfect blend. The pristine vocals and crystal clear production recall Grizzly Bear’s magnificent work. Like Grizzly Bear the pieces are tastefully arranged. Not a single note appears...
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Nic Nassuet – ‘Eleutherios’

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April 28, 2015
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Nic Nassuet’s “Eleutherios” is a passionate performance. Folk with fire, these songs are short and sweet pieces of work. Everything remains economical. The elements are used to maximum effect as Nic Nassuet dives deep into a sense of honesty, the sort of thing possible through folk and punk. Indeed certain elements of it are...
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Bill McBirnie and Bruce Jones – Grain of Sand

By
April 28, 2015
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Bill McBirnie is a jazz and Latin flute specialist based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has studied with renowned American flutist, Samuel Baron, distinguished Canadian flutist and composer, Robert Aitken, as well as Cuban charanga legend, Richard Egues. His latest release see his collaboration with Bruce Jones (Guitar, vocals, Percussion and Synth) This well...
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TJ Doyle’s – ‘On The Horizon’

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April 22, 2015
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On April 8, TJ Doyle and his band released their new record, ‘On The Horizon.’ This introspective, heartfelt sophomore release for Doyle is a classic rock-tinged wonderland of exciting performances and impactful lyrics. It delves into some meaningful content in quite excellent ways, making it one of the more notable independent outings of the...
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The Devine Xperience – “The Answer” – Single/Video Review

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April 22, 2015
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I, uh….hmm….I’m not really sure what I’m listening to & watching right now…yet… Even one of my favourite electro-only acts, Hot Chip, has a very hard time selling it all to me live with four guys standing around a bunch of electro pads and rooted in place…no matter what the energy of the track...
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The Malpass Brothers – Self Titled CD

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April 21, 2015
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The Malpass Brothers couldn’t care less about today’s fashions and play music they love. This album invites a number of judgments, but insincerity is not one of them. One pass through this self-titled debut will make clear the objective fact that these young men know how to present this music. Moreover, they have the...
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DogHouse Swine – Fearless

By
April 21, 2015
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I have a small area in my heart that belongs to the Punk Rock sound. I often reminisce of my youth and jamming out to Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Ramone’s. Today’s Punk lacks some of the lifestyle elements that those original Punk bands had. It was truly a lifestyle and, for a...
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Sarantos – “A Child’s Mind” – Single Review

By
April 17, 2015
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Sarantos continues to create pop-rhythms and sweet atmospheres here on his latest single “A Child’s Mind.” Some of you will remember Sarantos from past episodes of our show SBS Live This Week…the man is relentless in his music and work, it truly is to be admired. He produces quality singles at an alarming rate,...
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Lola de Hanna – “The Other Side” EP

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April 16, 2015
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Independent music-scene…you will forever astonish me with the sounds you put out of my speakers. I’ll fully admit to instantly being hooked on Lola de Hanna’s style & beat immediately as the opening song “Thin Air” burst brightly with exotic sounds and beautiful textures as The Other Side EP began to make its way...
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Anne Steele – “What’s Mine”

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April 16, 2015
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Don’t get me wrong, weather-wise it would have been a bright & sunny day here in BC no matter what was coming through our speakers today…it’s one of our rare April days without rain it would seem; but I’ll absolutely make the case for the sunshine finding its way under the roof here at...
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Craig Coltham – “Watching Over Me”

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April 16, 2015
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Craig Coltham’s confident voice reigns supreme on “Watching Over Me”. The sensitivity of the song is obvious. By mentioning specific geography the sound takes on a love for those surroundings. Instrumentally the song takes on a reflective point of view letting the sounds sprawl over everything. With a sense of earnestness Craig Coltham’s lyrics...
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The Vigilance Committee – “Exit A Hero”

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April 16, 2015
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I love The Vigilance Committee’s Exit a Hero. They waste absolutely no time getting started. Eschewing the gradual they start in the middle of things. Songs are full of energy and emotion. Lyrically the songs follow the lives of James King of William and James P. Casey, with their histories neatly emphasized by the...
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