Rowland S. Howard – Teenage Snuff Film

Australian guitarist and songwriter Rowland S. Howard followed stints in The Boys Next Door and The Birthday Party with this solo debut.

Having already had a storied career with The Boys Next Door (Shiversis surely one of the greatest songs ever written) and then moved on to The Birthday Party, Rowland S. Howard was regarded as one of the best songwriters of the late 80s/early 90s. His 1999 debut solo album, Teenage Snuff‚ Film, was Howard at his most open and brutally honest since the days of The Boys Next Door. There may be only eight original tracks, but when he sings: “You’re bad for me like cigarettes/ But I haven’t sucked the life out of you yet,” on Dead Radio, it sets the raw tone of the album.

Even though it was recorded and initially released in 1999, the vinyl issue wouldn’t arrive until 2001, with the ‘first pressing released in a limited quantity through Australian label Radio One. It rarely ever appears for sale, but has been known to change hands for around £400.

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime album which will immediately get under your skin, and it’s the kind of album you can ‘find an almost instant connection with. Against Me! vocalist Laura Jane Grace even cited Teenage Snuff‚ Film as her favourite album of all time, saying it came along at a time when she needed it most. Both Courtney Barnett and The Horrors also rate it as inŸfluential.

Sadly, Howard passed away in 2009, at the age of 50. However, between his solo material, The Boys Next Door and The Birthday Party, he has left an incredible body of work that will live on for years to come.

Glen Bushell