Whether you believe they’re straight outta Rikers, hailing from Wisconsin or just some other band in disguise, there’s no denying Masked Intruder deliver some of the best pop-punk anthems of today. The four colour coded felons are back with new album “M.I.”, and beware – they may steal your girlfriend along with your wallet.
Boasting Matt Alison’s recording skills (Alkaline Trio, Lawrence Arms, Menzingers), this album promises a more polished sound than the previous EPs and album they delivered between jail time, but fear not, this is still the Intruder duders at their trademark best.
Opening the album with the same siren sound as their previous self titled offering, “I Fought The Law” certainly isn’t the iconic punk track of the same name. Chugging riffs and a melodic chorus welcome the ears back to the sound of Masked Intruder. Blue’s sweet vocals, teamed with the punkier than usual instrumentals make for one helluva opening anthem.
It’s no secret that whilst Masked Intruder are evading the inside, they’re also on a crime spree of romantic proportions – stealing the heart of every female that lays eyes and ears on them – Grand Theft Heart-o if you will. If anything, this album lays more emphasis on loving and less on stabbing and stealing than their previous album.
“The Most Beautiful Girl”, second track on the record, is a sickly sweet straight up love song, with the pop-punk meets doo-wop sound fans adore this band for. And the rest of the bubblegum pop meets proper punk fucking rock love songs follow the same suit, with the catchiest riffage and choruses to melt all kindsa girl parts.
Even the tracks with the crime theme have an epicly romantic side – for instance “Crime Spree”’s ‘Thelma and Louise but lovers’ story and “When I Get Out”’s doo-wop heavy heartfelt promise.
The former of the two is a prime example of the great production and display of talent on this record – Blue and the gang are capable of far more than the three chords here’s a song punk standard.
A stand out track on the record is “Almost Like We’re Already In Love”, a song that strips the band of their chugging rhythm section and melodic guitars. This acapella song shows the bands’ incredible vocal talents and pays fine homage to their varied influences. Masked Intruder aint just another punk band.
Hitting like a short sharp shock after the soft previous track, “Hey Girl” is a pure punk rock tune with a killer Matt Freeman-esque bass riff and catchy chorus. And it gets heavier from there, with “Don’t Run Away”’s infectious riffs.
The love song’s get a tad creepier, with “Weirdo” being this album’s “Heart Shaped Guitar”, and “I Don’t Wanna Say Goodbye To You Tonight” acting as a Ramones-esque stalker guide.
“M.I.” manages to be more polished yet more punk rock than their previous stuff, something a lot of bands fall short on. This whole album oozing old skool stylings of the Clash’s clean guitars and the Ramones’ energetic pop-y edge.
Mark my words, if (IF!) Masked Intruder can stay outta jail long enough, a whole heap of greatness can be expected of them. Lets just hope Officer Bradford can do his job well enough for that to happen.
Be sure to catch the guys on their relentless worldwide tour in support of the album, or maybe they’re just escaping the feds. Either way catch em while you can!
5/5 StarsAdd Masked Intruder to My Radar