John Darnielle's songs operate with the grace of a slasher movie: precise in their depiction of messy situations (and vice versa), triumphant even in desperation, usually grisly, sometimes hilarious. His meth addicts have the wherewithal to tell you the exact street corner on which they are slowly and almost certainly dying; a couple of minutes later, responding to the promise of a friend sending more "electrical equipment," they say things like "That's good, we could always use some more electrical equipment," with absolutely no intention of explaining to you just what for. On 2002's "The Fall of the High School Running Back," Darnielle narrates the collapse and subsequent conviction of a teenager in one minute and 50 seconds, and manages to include the perp's full name, first, middle, and... More >>>