Local Hattiesburg band MSPAINT released their debut self-titled EP on March 4, 2020, through local label Earth Girl. Across these four tracks, the quartet sonically explode their way across apocalyptic grandeur.
Compared to most local bands, MSPAINT does not have a typical lineup. Randy, on bass, is shatteringly loud as the only guitar through his fuzz pedal, nullifying any hesitation about adding a six-string to the mix. Randy’s riffs, coupled with drummer Quinn’s beats, manifest a groove so inducing that the best way to mosh to it would be to fall off a plank in the middle of the Atlantic. Add Nick’s piercing synth to the mix, and we finally get a landscape for lead singer DeeDee to stomp not only the ground, but their vocal chords as well.
During the EP’s final track, “Post-American,” the band is at the forefront of the afterlife, standing up from the ashes of society. The song reflects on the American way, especially through the lyric, “I got some time to kill and no money to spend.” With the American dream tied so close to capitalism, if there is no money to earn or buy, what is there to do? MSPAINT believes that the best thing to do is to merely hangout in the world that is left, which is just a vast wasteland.
This anger also appears in “Confidence (Consciousness),” as the lyrics paint social confusion and frustration in lines like “The way you’re talking is always throwing me off” and “I can see it in your energy”. The chorus is a sonic gel in this regard. The true highlight of the track is when DeeDee screams “Your! Thoughts! Aren’t! Fixed!” as Quinn’s hits, Randy’s bassline and Nick’s synth cut through in perfect time.
Another showstopper for the band is the intro of the currently unreleased “Decapitated Reality”, which sees Nick play what can only be described as a life-threatening alarm in a terrifying dream. Randy and Quinn play two notes and hits in unison while DeeDee screams briefly, but effectively, into the mic. Then, with several quick snare hits, they rage into the song.
Randy said his riffs were mostly inspired by the other members.
“If I’m working on a riff, it’s usually inspired by whatever Nick has going on synth wise or the different beats Quinn writes,” said Randy. “It’s a lot of fun being able to experiment and just kind of see what happens rather than writing songs trying to sound like something else.”
Behind any band’s music is motivation, and MSPAINT is no different. DeeDee said their lyrics are mostly based around mixed emotions.
“The content of the band is definitely taking a look at whiteness and being frustrated, but hopeful that the mentality can change and become a more talked about subject in the south, instead of something that is mostly ignored,” said DeeDee.
DeeDee also said that their lyrics are directly impacted by issues that directly affect Mississippi.
“I would definitely say that the vocals and lyrics are meant to translate the frustration of being from Mississippi, as well as the more positive aspects that we aren’t defined by what we are and that we can continue to change our mindset and better ourselves in the face of living in a place that’s mostly overlooked,” said DeeDee.
To support MSPAINT, visit their Bandcamp page at mspainthattiesburg.bandcamp.com. You can also watch their live performances on YouTube. A personal favorite is their crowdless Thirsty Hippo set during October 2020, with DeeDee appropriately dressed in a hazmat suit.