A Minimal, Pulsating Blob of Angst
You ever wish Sunn O))) played homemade noise generators housed in casings styled like power-tools over 200% slower Combichrist drums? Well, if you have ever made that wish, you might be granted something like Author & Punisher. The one-man-band, led by Tristan Shone, has sculpted a blend of industrial, doom, sludge, drone, EBM, and faint elements of gabber to form a hodgepodge of misanthropic noise with his latest effort, Women & Children.
The lonesome calls of the deep woods float atop gurgling sub-bass with title track, “Women & Children.” The clanging of old drum machine cymbals crash before going full Boris. The echoing Al Jourgensen-esque barks compliment the disillusion and manic landscape being painted. A befitting way to start an album most likely meant for nihilistic neophytes. The more easily accessible, but equally as dissonant, “In Remorse” enters some KMFDM territory mixed with ’80s darkwave. It’s a minimal, pulsating blob of angst. “Melee” creates a similar machinistic vibe minus the Sascha K screaming…well, that is before it drops you back into a state of abysmal dejection chock full of debasing cries of manic depravity. Hope ya like bass, bitch, cause there’s plenty of that, too.
Uh oh, shit just got real… we’ve got a ballad on our hands. “Tame as a Lion” plinks away at dischordent piano noodling before, again, dropping you into the depths of fractured aberration. Steam engines and kick drums…it’s a rivethead’s wet dream. “Fearce” plods along like the contemporary answer to early Nitzer Ebb with the same like, three fucking words (also complimented by random screaming) repeated over and over to sub-bass chugs and some progressive trance synths. Alright, shit is pretty brutal.
“Miles from Home” does its best Jean-Michel Jarre impression for a minute or two before some Year Zero-ish white noise percussion guides Shone’s Catholic mass vocals. Perhaps the most repetitive of the lot, it does it in more of a reverse sensory deprevation sort of way. Final track, “Pain Myself” showcases Shone’s mid-’80s goth vocal cords over oscillating bass swells. The lonesome piano tickling combined with the Bauhaus-ian crooning might be a tad pretensiously “dark,” but that’s sort of forgiveable due to the monstrously badass bass droning.
Well, it’s loud, cartoonishly “misunderstood,” brooding and really fucking angry. All in all, if you’re a fan of any of the subgenres previously mentioned, chances are you’d enjoy Women & Children. Despite some goth pretentions and so-so vocals here and there, Shone has put together some really pissed off shit that will make up for any Lard album you accidentally bought back in the day… your subwoofer will thank you.