Listen: Rowland S. Howard – Teenage Snuff Film
“The color of Rowland Howard’s music is a deep-purple bruise.” – Lydia Lunch
“His guitar playing was like the stab of a switchblade.” – Laura Jane Grace
By the end of his stints in The Birthday Party and These Immortal Souls, Rowland S. Howard had already built a reputation as Australia’s premier anti-guitar hero. Teenage Snuff Film maybe filled to the brim with his usual brand of avant-garde dissonance and feedback, but it’s merely the cherry on top of these sad and beautiful set of songs.
There is a pervading dark and gloomy atmosphere evocative of film noir that perfectly accompanies the ‘life gone wrong’ narrative of the album. For the first time in his discography the words, the singing, the signature guitar sound are all working in complete harmony to project the sound of his bleeding heart. From the pummelling anxiety of “Breakdown (And Then…)” to the blissful regret of “Autoluminescent” or the orchestrated chaos of “Sleep Alone,” there’s never a dull moment of the record.
Throught the entire album, Howard manages to masterfully explore different shades of sheer regret and despair like a perfect romantic tragedy. A miserable masterpiece.