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The geek caucus at Hot Press was rubbing its D20s together in joy upon discovering that, alongside bashing out some devastatingly bleak alt.pop, Minnesota strummer Messersmith is a devoted Dungeons & Dragons player. This has caused considerable fascination among the US alternative community, with one reporter structuring an interview with Messersmith around a threehour D&D session (he was killed by an elf). Still anyone parsing his down-in-the-mouth balladry for references to wyverns or warlocks is likely to be disappointed. Having started putting out records as far back as 2007, Messersmith's sound is confessional and bare-boned, about as far from fantasy escapism as you can get.

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