We recently named Hattiesburg, Mississippi synthpunk/art punk band MSPAINT one of 15 artists to watch in 2023, and their debut album, Post-American, is out today via Convulse Records (pre-order). In our review, we write, "As evidenced by their collaborators, tourmates, and record label, MSPAINT have been embraced by the hardcore scene, but they're not a hardcore band themselves. In fact, the band maintains that the only preliminary discussions they had about what MSPAINT would sound like is that they wouldn't use any guitars. Not that the 'rock band ditches guitars' narrative is anything new, but MSPAINT do it in a way unlike almost any other band I can think of. Rejecting the rock-goes-synth pipeline that so often results in something cleaned-up and radio-friendly, MSPAINT's synth-punk feels built for grimy, sweaty, poorly-lit warehouse parties. Their drum-and-bass rhythm section is pummeling, their synths are warped and distorted, and their charismatic vocalist--who goes only by Deedee--leads the band with barely-melodic shouts that are way catchier than they'll ever sound on paper. The songs are as jagged and aggressive as they are fun and infectious; it's pop music for the outcasts and freaks, and MSPAINT don't really sound like any of the other bands who fit that description." Read it in full here.

In celebration of the release of Post-American, the band took us through the album and gave us a track-by-track breakdown. Read their commentary, and stream it, below.



1. Information
Randy: This was the first fully fleshed out song idea I brought to the band in terms of writing riffs on bass. Nick and I demo’d this song at his house together while we were still in the earlier stages of the pandemic. We laid down the bass track and Nick started experimenting with synth parts. I don’t really have experience playing synths but I remember watching Nick sift through sounds/turn knobs, asking him to make the melodies darker or grimier and eventually I was just like “look by the end of the song we are in the underground vampire rave at the beginning of Blade.”

2. Think It Through
Nick: Think it thru was part of a group of three songs I wrote right after the demo. At this point, I was trying to start with the weirdest ideas I could and retroactively find ways to justify them. To my surprise, Dee Dee latched onto this one immediately and had lyrics for it within like a day. Quinn’s drum parts on this song are some of my favorite on the whole record.

3. Acid
Randy: I remember going to the studio and everyone really wanting the bridge part to be clean bass. I always kind of viewed the fuzz as a safety net because of how big it sounds but once I heard how it really set up the dynamics at the end I loved it and don’t feel like I have to root myself to just one sound in the future.

Quinn: This was our first time trying to write completely in the DAW as opposed to a full band practice. We each took turns working on the 2 channel interface and I wrote out the drum parts on my sample pad so when we brought it to a full band setting some of the electronic elements stayed like the 909 bass drums. We had trouble writing a bridge and we ended up with this kind of pseudo dubstep buildup.

4. Hardwired
Nick: This is the first song I brought to the band. I had actually written this riff on a microkorg, and it represents a moment for me when I knew that I wanted to play synthesizer in a band. It’s been 3 years and I still love playing this song and watching people go off during what Dee Dee calls the “Coldplay chords”.

5. Delete It (ft. Ian Shelton)
Deedee: This song was written in Hattiesburg with Ian and we were appreciative that he came down to chill with us and write some tunes. Everything came very organically and we just captured an exciting moment of us all collaborating and learning about each other’s music, it was a lot of fun cooking this one up.

6. S3
Deedee: This track is basically a series of reflections. I wanted it to emulate a bunch of different ideas that were too stimulating to comprehend all at once. Then, compartmentalize the thoughts into trying to understand how to be better.

7. Decapitated Reality (ft. Pierce Jordan)
Randy: It’s definitely one of, if not my favorite song to play live. I got to experiment a lot over the course working on the album and ended up taking small trills or techniques I learned and applying them on this one. It feels like everyone's just in their element on their respective instruments just going off the whole time.

Deedee: Absolutely absurd track to me, one of my favorites on the album and I love the composition a lot because it was collaborative and a piece of everyone in this one from our band and Pierce.

8. Post-American
Quinn: I’d been listening to a lot of Nine Inch Nails at the time and I wanted to go for a more industrial kind of drum beat. I also wanted to take stuff I’d seen Drum n’ Bass drummers use so I attached my splash to my snare and ended up with a gated snare effect which I really liked. I think the instrumentation and lyrics perfectly encapsulate the post-apocalyptic vibe.

9. Free From The Sun
Nick: This was actually a riff I wrote on guitar first, not really thinking I’d ever use it. Quinn had the idea of doing the slowdown at the end after hearing a PinkPantheress song do it. I was not really for the idea, but got outvoted. Honestly, in hindsight, it adds a cool thematic element to the song that I really dig now.

10. Titan of Hope
Quinn: Nick brought this demo in with a lot of the main parts already in place. I really liked the drum parts he’d written so I tried to learn it exactly. This song is the one we had to practice the most to pull off everyone's individual parts.

Deedee: Lyrically I wanted to encourage and manifest hope in a setting that is working against that sentiment the lyrics aim for. The musical elements really captured an important moment to me so I worked on the lyrics awhile to match that energy.

11. Flowers From Concrete
Nick: This was a demo I had that we listened to on the way back from Convulse weekend. Dee Dee heard the song and immediately started working on lyrics for it. Dee Dee actually put the demo over some Final Fantasy clips at some point and that’s how we shared it with friends.


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