Masked Intruder are one of those bands that people either love or hate, with few on the fence about whether or not they like them. I happen to be one of the people who love them, even if gimmicks aren’t usually my thing when it comes to bands. Yellow, Blue, Red, and Green did it again, though, with their new album, III, which picks up where the band left off with M.I. in 2014. What a wait – even with the “Love and Other Crimes” EP in the middle of it – but they made it worth our time.
The album is full of songs about relationships and crime, as anyone would expect from the band. Nonetheless, it is pop-punk at its finest. The album gets started right away with, “No Case,” an anthem for anyone who can say they are in no way guilty of anything they are being accused of. Which may be a theme for this band, but hey, what works… works.
“All Of My Love” is a super-catchy song that is classic Masked Intruder, as is “Not Fair,” which tells the story of how unfair it is that a girl has a boyfriend who isn’t good enough for her and she’d be better off with the guy stalking her from a treehouse. Because that’s what this band is all about – and exactly why they work so well. (And who hasn’t done something like that once or twice?)
“I’m Free (At Last)” is probably the best song about getting out of jail? A relationship? Both? that’s ever been written. It’s absolutely celebratory and a great sing-along song for anyone who is celebrating any kind of freedom in their lives. Likewise, “Gimme Parole” is a song just begging for that break for being over a girl. Is the song about literal parole? Figurative? Does it matter? Not in the slightest. The song is catchy and fun and a single minute of nothing other than pop punk perfection.
Each song segues perfectly into the next and there’s not a weak link among the twelve songs that make up III. For a band only on their third full-length release, this is quite an accomplishment. Most bands have at least one annoying or subpar song, but not Masked Intruder.
This is the punk rock I grew up on – only taken to the next level. Lots of love, lots of heartbreak, lots of innocence, lots of crime… a bit of stalking… and total fun. Even they know they sound like The Queers and all the Lookout! bands of the 1990s – mixed with more rock and even doo-wop influences. The band says they are influenced by everything from the Mr. T Experience and Misfits to Journey and Boston. This should not work, and yet it does. Carried by harmony and driving punk rock music, this is far and away an album that can be considered a triumph for the band.
This is one of my favorites of 2019, thus far, and probably still will be at the end of the year. There’s not a bad song on the whole album, so it is most certainly going to be on heavy rotation, where it belongs. Nonetheless, I’ll do my best not to use it as an instructional guide to life, lest Office Bradford comes looking for me.
You can stream the album below to hear what I am talking about and decide for yourself. Great? Or GREAT?