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Roland S. Howard | Teenage Snuff Film (Cooking Vinyl)
The reinvention of Cooking Vinyl continues with the slightly disturbingly titled Teenage Snuff Film, the debut solo album from Rowland S. Howard. If you're familiar with the tone of Howard's previous work - with myriad of other artists, but most notably as a member of Crime and the City Solution and These Immortal Souls - then you'll be prepared for the layered dusky rock of Teenage Snuff Film. What you might not be prepared for, however, is Howard's sly and insidiously captivating retread of Billy Idol's White Wedding, as he turns that eighties air-puncher into a tense collision of anxious guitar, brushed snare and woolly bass. She Cried is curiously reminiscent of The Shangri-La's Leader of the Pack as Howard intones a tale of betrayal and desertion over a bass that growls to the beat of a heart. It's a theme that's picked up on I Burnt Your Clothes, as jagged shards of guitar back up an almost-spoken narrative of self immolation: "I had no knife but myself / it was me that I cut but you bled as well." Dominated by Howard's incendiary guitar playing and his bleak baritone, Teenage Snuff Film is the fatalistic record fans of the man have been waiting for.

Martin Williams
CWAS #6 - Autumn 2000