The Stranger.Com - Vol 8 No.48 Aug 19-25 1999

The Stranger.Com - Vol 8 No.48 Aug 19-25 1999
Teenage Snuff Film

Here's what former Birthday Party guitarist Rowland S. Howard's debut solo album sounds like.

1) The Birthday Party's singer Nick Cave's solo albums.

No. That's a lie. While there's a link between Rowland's brooding voice on Teenage Snuff Film and Cave's sonorous preacher tones, to say that Teenage Snuff Film is a simple copy would be a fallacy. It's a complicated copy. It draws on much of the same source material -- Johnny Cash, Velvet Underground's heroin-tainted vision of love, the Mary Chain, the writings of Gabriel Garcia Marquez -- but resonates with a gloomy grace all its own.

Here's what former These Immortal Souls/Crime & The City Solution mainman Rowland S. Howard's debut solo album really sounds like.

1) Crime & The City Solution, and These Immortal Souls.

No, that's a lie. Long-time partner Mick Harvey may be present (on drums), but the music here is stripped-back, far more chilling and evocative than anything Howard's previous bands ever managed. It's the music closest to Howard's heart, one suspects: '60s teenage angst howling in a '90s vacuum. Rowland's darkened voice also manages to echo Lee Hazelwood's deep baritone -- grand, seedy, and unyielding. Some compliment. This is the best album the Mary Chain haven't made in over a decade.