[2010] Egida Aurea - La Mia Piccola Guerra

Italian urban tales, manifested through powerful folk songs with neofolk undertones. This is Egida Aurea's first LP, follow-up of their first release, Storia Di Una Rondine EP. Quickly becoming one of my big favorite albums of this year, the songs on this album have a traditional italian vibe spiced up with heavy synth usage and mournful female vocals, whose softer side is often contrasted with a heavy dose of percussion and guitar-driven melodies, without losing a single bit of italian folk.

Download it here: [V2]

Buy it directly from HR!SPQR here.

[2005] Friendly Bears - On Oceans, Light, And Sleep

Free-jazzy, avant-prog band from the United States,which released an album with Infidel?/Castro! a while ago already. Similar to Tartar Lamb (Toby & Mia's (also from Kayo Dot) side project) at their softest moments, it delivers fast-paced, frantic sections on short notice, mixed with female vocals from time to time. So far their only LP, which is a shame considering how good they are. This album was released 5 years after their original forming, so they've mostly been a live band; for instance,  not too long ago they did a show along with Tartar Lamb as a support act.

Downnload it here: [V2][V0]

Buy it directly from Amazon here. Sold out on Pralaya Records.

[2007] Hide Your Daughters - The Teen Girl's Guide To Social Success

Same band members of Electro Quarterstaff and KEN mode, it combines the technicality and unpredictability of the former and the noisy heaviness of the latter and gives it a melodic take on noisy sludge. Only LP so far though (and somewhat short, 37min), but it definitely deserves some attention, considering how unlike any other I've heard is, within the genre. Give it a try!

Download it here: [V2][V0]

Buy it directly from Arctodus Records here.

[2008] KEN mode - Mennonite

In the brand of sludge I've enjoyed the most lately (noise-rock/sludge, bands like Kowloon Walled City and Shallow North Dakota), KEN mode has delivered 3 solid albums in the course of 5 years, Mennonite being the latest (Venerable would be the 4th, to be released in 2011) and best effort so far. The songs are heavy, with hints of math-rock here and there, from musicians well familiarized with the genres and capable of delivering excellent music.

Download it here: [256][V0]

Buy it directly from Arctodus Records here.

[2006] Electro Quarterstaff - Gretzky

With members of KEN mode and Hide Your Daughters, Electro Quarterstaff is an instrumental technical death metal band a bit unlike most I've heard. Sort of sharing the same overall vibe of the aforementioned bands, this trio takes the extreme technicality and speed of bands like Gorguts and Behold... The Arctopus to create almost abstract songs constantly exploring moods and motifs through the whole album. Signed to the same label where Fleshgod Apocalypse, Ulcerate and Fate of Icarus are (Willowtip), this is sure a promising band that will leave a lot of fans of the genre satisfied.

Download it here: [V0]

Currently out of stock on Willowtip.

[2010] The High Confessions - Turning Lead Into Gold With The High Confessions

Chris Connelly (Ministry), Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Jeremy Lemos (White/Light) and Sandford Parker (Minsk) join forces together for this new experimental/post-punk project. Earlier in the year we had Shelley collaborating in Hallogallo 2010 which was a Michael Rother, sort of Neu! revival project; this time he combines his past experiences along with Connelly's to create an album that would fit nicely within the same scene that gave birth to bands like The Pop Group, Swell Maps, Pere Ubu and others. Trance-inducing melodies, overall quality music released under the same label that would see the light of Godflesh, Relapse Records.

Download it here: [V2][V0] Removed per request

Buy it directly from Relapse Records here.