Natural events rarely array themselves as neatly as last night’s blood moon eclipse, so the near-miss of dark noise-dub pioneer Author & Punisher playing Vancouver a mere eight days ahead of industrial founding fathers Godflesh (tonight at Venue) instead of on the same lineup would be a tragedy if it were due to anything but misaligned circumstances; fortunately, the confluence of Portland’s Muscle and Marrow with A&P on their current North American tour is a genuine phenomenon in its own right – one does not often see the emotional depth and intensity displayed in dark music that both acts brought to bear at The Astoria a week ago.
Muscle & Marrow performed a hypnotic set of fragile yet tempestuous songs that demonstrate a unique expression of delicate rage and solemn heartbreak, and vocalist Kira Clark dispels the customary trappings of live performance to directly harrow the soul with her haunting wails, particularly on the heartrending track, “I’m Old”.
Since his show at Hindenburg last December, Author & Punisher mastermind Tristan Shone has clearly refined his live performance with greater focus and control, maintaining familiar noise and machine-like elements while emphasising vocal expression to great affect, as heard on recent Housecore Records debut Melk en Honing. Visual effects provided by Will Michaelsen of CutMod Digital Media were more subdued for this performance, focusing on textural accents in light rather than a full backdrop display.
We’ll let the photos speak for themselves, but stay tuned for our Author & Punisher interview later this week!