Album Review: Masked Intruder – “First Offense (7″)”

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A little background info on this band might be helpful before reading this review. Recently members of the Wisconsin punk scene banded donned their color-coded ski masks to form alter-egos Masked Intruder, not unlike the hardcore punk band The Bronx’s transformation to their south-of-the-border identities as Mariachi El Bronx. However, instead of grabbing trumpets and sombreros, Masked Intruder sings a pop-y brand of punk about armed robbery, doing hard time, and of course, love & girls.

What at first seems like nothing more than a gimmick quickly turns into a solid pop punk release, blending elements of the old-schoolers like The Ramones and Screeching Weasel with the persona of, let’s say Tupac. And as weird as that may sound, it’s damn catchy.

Such is the focus of tracks 1, 2 and 4 (Stick ‘Em Up, Gimme Parole, ADT Security): criminally infectious melodies that make even a high-pitched pop punk vocalist seem like the king of the badasses. “How Do I Get To You?” is a pretty straightforward fast-paced rock anthem, but another one that’s easy to get stuck in your head and easier to sing along to. The closer “Wish You Were Mine” starts off with a (somewhat unexpected) a cappella intro and then hits off into a pop rock tune that sounds like The Beach Boys getting in a barfight with the Adolescents.

Overall, this is a really fun release that can only be achieved when a band doesn’t take itself too seriously. Here’s hoping the dudes stay out of prison long enough to record their upcoming full-length debut on Red Scare! You can stream the opening track here, and download the band’s five-track demo for free here.



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