Review Summary: "The one"
It happens: that kinda-cute girl you one day cross paths with messages you on facebook; you maybe see her every now-and-then, sext for a while, but you never escalate because you’re a p***y. Months of nothing drift by and then it suddenly hits you: she’s a Goddess. You’d do anything to be with her, but the attraction’s expired and she’d rather you p***ed off.
Masked Intruder, a coloured ski mask-wearing pop-punk quartet from Madison, Wisconsin, deal with a situation like this by breaking into the girl’s property armed with knives and heart-shaped instruments, while blistering out fast-paced love songs in the hope of winning her heart. However, it seems these girls rightly have a tendency to call the police, rather than helplessly fall into the arms of the band members.
The above two paragraphs practically sum-up the lyrical content of Masked Intruder’s entire self-titled debut LP, ranging from sweet love metaphors (“In a world of nightmares you’re a sweet, sweet dream”) to describing an armed mugging (“I've got a knife, mother***er/Stick ‘em up!”). It’s silly (perhaps taking the “Masked Intruder” identity a little too literally), and often the way the lead singer’s obsession for a girl is described can be shockingly blatant, but the lyrics are generally light and enjoyable.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Masked Intruder is their unique take on the genre: think pop-punk if it had existed during the 1960’s. Beach Boys-esque backing harmonies sneak their way into most of the tracks, (check the pretty vocal intro to “Wish You Were Mine”), and the traditional “love song” chord progressions of the songs give the whole thing a retro feel. Of course, the sound’s main focus is what is expected from pop-punk: short, energetic tracks full of infectious hooks (sung by lead vocals reminiscent of Yellowcard
or The Get Up Kids
) guided along by a high-energy rhythm section and crunchy power chords. Occasionally, the songs will explode into a guitar solo Mick Jones may approve of; elsewhere, a touch of synth can be heard, subtly creating a “fuller” sound.
Overall, Masked Intruder
is a strange package, but a lot of fun nonetheless. The lack of varied lyrical substance and repetitiveness of the album’s sound limits its success, but when the band combine their bizarre personas and retro take on pop-punk, we have a very enjoyable LP.
Here’s to hoping that they aren't actually in jail before their next album comes out.