Song You Need: MSPAINT’s “ACID” is a synth-punk carousel

The Mississippi band return with their first single since 2020.

October 11, 2022
Song You Need: MSPAINT’s “ACID” is a synth-punk carousel MSPAINT. Photo by Libby Zanders  

The FADER’s “Songs You Need” are the tracks we can’t stop playing. Check back every day for new music and follow along on our Spotify playlist.


As far as band names go, MSPAINT isn't incompatible with the sound of the Mississippi four-piece. The scraggly, serrated sound of their 2020 self-titled EP sounds like it could have been drawn with a mouse in the titular vintage graphics program. Rooted in hardcore, MSPAINT add synths – usually either funereal or keyed-up to resemble the death rattle of the machines that created them – providing a considerable amount of texture to their buzzing tracks.


It doesn't feel right to call "ACID," MSPAINT's first new song in two years, more polished. There's a clarity in the mix that wasn't present on the EP, but the sound is still metal-against-metal, scorched with righteous anger. "We’re beyond peace at this point," Deedee bellows after the song's opening electroclash melodies. "It’s just another ploy / A marketing scheme tranquil and enjoyed / By a network of demons yelling at the sky." As authoritarianism approaches, MSPAINT offer a remedy on the punishing hook: "Selfish fascination / Got to let it, let it go." If anything could shock the world out of narcissistic navel-gazing, it's a hit of "ACID."

“’Acid’ is about being pushed to the edge and having to reevaluate your existence in order to survive,” bassist Randy Riley said in a press statement. “It’s the first song we wrote after releasing the demo in March of 2020. It was definitely a track that we felt created the template for the rest of the songs that came after. At the same time it was a song that was constantly evolving or changing all the way up until we actually recorded it. It was one of those things where when we wrote a new song and it felt like we found a different element to our sound, we would go back to ‘Acid’ and make little changes based on whatever we were currently figuring out at the time.


“Tonally we wanted to ride the line between intensity and still trying to make it feel optimistic. The drums and bass are constantly moving, like they’re trying to escape the song structure. Large spacey synths help reign it all in and give Deedee a lot of room to play with cadence and vocal rhythms.”

Listen to "ACID" below, followed by MSPAINT's upcoming winter tour dates.

MSPAINT 2022 tour dates

October 19 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall %
October 23 - Detriot, MI - Sanctuary *
October 24 - Toronto, ON - Monarch *
October 25 - Montreal, QC - Turbo Haus *
October 26 - Boston, MA - Middle East Upstairs *
October 27 - Brooklyn, NY - Saint Vitus *
October 28 - Amityville, NY - Amityville Music Hall *
October 29 - Philadelphia, PA - Foto Club *
October 30 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar *
October 31 - Roanoake, VA - The Spot on Kirk *
November 1 - Charlotte, NC - Snug Harbor *
November 2 - Columbia, SC - New Brookland Tavern *
November 3 - Atlanta, GA - 529 *
November 4 - Nashville, TN - Drkmttr *
November 5 - Louisville, KY - Mag Bar *
November 8 - St. Louis, MO - Sinkhole *
November 9 - Omaha, NE - Reverb *
November 10 - Denver, CO - HQ *
November 11 - Salt Lake City, UT - Beehive w/ Militarie Gun
November 16 - New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks ^
November 17 - Houston, TX - Numbers ^
November 18 - Dallas, TX - Deep Ellum Art Co. ^
November 19 - Austin, TX - Mohawk ^
November 21 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom ^
November 22 - Los Angeles, CA - Zebulon #
November 23 - San Jose, CA - Playback Studios #
November 25 - Sacramento, CA - Colony #
November 26 - Reno, NV - TBD #
November 27 - Portland, OR - Mano Oculta #
November 28 - Seattle, WA - Vera Projet #

% w/ Soft Kill
* w/ Militarie Gun
^ w/ The Soft Moon
# w/ The Mall

Song You Need: MSPAINT’s “ACID” is a synth-punk carousel