The One-Man Machine: Author and Punisher reconquers Glendale

By Lisa Burke

April 1st 2017, Complex, Glendale CA:  Have you ever taken the time to analyze a one man or woman solo stage project and wondered if it could be considered a band rather than just an artist with an elaborate idea? In some cases a solo act does in fact qualify as a band based on the sound, quality, and inner workings of it all. On Saturday April 1st 2017, Author And Punisher headlined Complex in Glendale and served as the perfect example of a one-man band. The support on this night consisted of two other solo acts Bruce Lamont, and Sanford Parker with industrial doom trio Fact Pattern.

Unfortunately, I was not able to see industrial doom trio Fact Pattern but they will be making a return appearance at Complex in a couple of weeks, so I recommend catching them then if you haven’t already done so. On to the action I was a witness to, Sanford Parker commanded the stage with his industrial noise jams he constructed on a keyboard and other accessories in a dance driven DJ poised kind of way. This was not just your average DJ, however, as it was packed with great dynamics, larger than life sound, and a varied interest that followed an intelligent and thoughtful structure. Even through the most monotonous times with the drone style drum and bass effects that bordered on techno, it never left the industrial vibe and the interest remained intact. This set was a very appropriate and similarly styled production that fit in with Author and Punisher in all the power. Thus, a band was born out of one man’s rhythm-driven soul and really set the stakes high for what was to come.

The following agenda featured a man called Bruce Lamont who had a saxophone among other instruments to either entertain us or put us in a catatonic state with. The echoey, trance-like, stylistically deep vocals really enhanced the mellowed tunes that burst out sporadic flickers of experimental noise. There was much sitting on the floor and switching up instruments by him, which led to a touch of mind boggling of the audience. Being sandwiched in between two very loud bands of a fairly different more upbeat genre, Bruce was left with a slightly shorter stick. The break up in style was also nice, but the energy drop actually acted as more of a dull moment for me. Also, it certainly was an unusual take on a solo act and should be commended as such.

As the night rolled on and the crowd filled up with an eclectic mix of college-age goths and other oddities of the human persuasion, the main act of Tristan Shone’s Author and Punisher was compiled on stage with a mass of technically genius devices. This band that tells two tales in one story is the equivalent of a night in shining armor rescuing the industrial revolution from becoming too boring. If that makes no sense to you then it’s probably for the best because all you really need to know is how brilliant this industrial doom playing mechanical engineer is. The space at this venue did not lend itself well to attendees standing in the back because if you couldn’t see the drone machines and other one-of-a-kind devices, then you were missing out. The echo-enhanced vocal effects are very impressive as he belts them into a microphone that resembles a remote control attached to a flexible metal arm. The core and essence of what makes Author and Punisher work is the cunning manipulation of the intricate workings of the machinery that results in an entire band’s sound from a one man operation. The first time I heard it I was literally blown away by how the sound was being made and how not simple it seemed to all work. The use of a back screen with black and white video images completed the look and unified the vibe of the set. The new songs that he played which I hadn’t heard before tended to lean more towards industrial noise factor than the older tunes that rely more on a melody and almost develop a cohesive story. I respond better to the more melodic old school extreme metal with industrial sound, but all is quite impressive and extremely unique. Despite Author And Punisher’s quickly and steadily growing popularity I would still love to see him gain the respect from more music and technology lovers outside the goth or industrial circle because there are so many people out there I know will appreciate the unusual and extremely talented qualities found in his music.

Photo by Illana Vilensky (@neprodukt on instagram)

The show ended around 1 AM and then ended again with an encore while people watched in awe. The great aspect here is that Author And Punisher is not diminishing music as much as it really is advancing the genres involved so that eventually new life is formed from it. These bands not only appeal to younger generations, but mostly to those who also studied the past closely. I can not stress enough how this needs to be your next bucket list band as there are a number of great advantages and advances projecting themselves here. Once again, another successfully cohesive night from Church of the 8th Day at Complex.

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