Resisting Despair | “Titan of Hope” by MSPAINT


Nick Sanchez, Host of Thee Hourz O' Power

We start in near silence with only the faintest of pulsating synths to let us know that yes, in fact, the song has begun playing. But there’s something wrong — maybe it was mixed poorly or released unfinished, either way this is too quiet and we need to turn it all the way up right now. And so we do.


The first slap of a snare hit announces the start of the track proper and you notice that things aren’t quite adding up. Gentle synthetic tones are clashing with acoustic drums that are jamming in the pocket. When vocalist Deedee’s confrontational shouting and the heavily processed electric guitars enter the mix 22 seconds in, the band’s sound becomes realized. 


MSPAINT is the logical next step in the evolution of punk, fusing electronic textures with the stripped down, DIY sensibilities of a hardcore band to form a truly one of a kind sonic experience. Guitar strums can be mistaken for synth notes and vice versa. Influenced by digital landscapes that are ruled by binary code, MSPAINT inhabits a beautiful musical gray area. 



With their sound being unmistakably from the 21st century, it only makes sense that their lyrics resonate with the present day as well. An attempt to reckon with a fracturing social climate where tragedy after tragedy washes over us, “Titan of Hope” stands firmly against the oh-so-alluring idea of shutting down and shutting out pain in the name of self-preservation. The comfort of isolation is rejected, because it is much better to feel and feel pain instead of feeling nothing at all. 


Opening up to the way that we feel /

The hardest things to speak on are real.


With this comes caution and even fear, for to open yourself up is to make yourself vulnerable, but with that vulnerability comes strength. It isn’t the kind of strength that means you’re tough and can make it through anything — it’s the opposite. This strength is knowing that you can’t make it through anything, that you are susceptible to injury, but you live your life true to yourself anyways. 


We’re not scared anymore /

We’re not scared anymore /

and this mindset is a Titan of Hope.


We have to believe it can get better. Not with lame platitudes but with action, and action only comes from hope. We hope we can make a change so we take action to do so. Hope is all the beauty of the world not yet realized, all the infinite possibilities of the word “maybe.” We aren’t scared anymore not because we destroyed our fear and pain, but because we carry it with us every day, and it is because of hope that those feelings become constructive instead of destructive. It is because of hope that change is possible. Hope is not just important, it is critical.


Because if we don’t have hope, then what else do we have left?