Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Music Reviews: Masked Intruder - "Masked Intruder"

Y'know, I'm still very much in shock over the amount of amazing music that has come out in the last 11 months that it's almost mind numbing. And as I get closer to the 2nd annual Critical Mass Best Of date, I'm having a hell of a time deciding which single full length will take the "Album Of The Year" honors for 2012. But I gotta tell ya, leading the pack for the race for first is the self titled debut full length from Madison Wisconsin's own Masked Intruder. A band that consists of 4 guys in colored ski masks who sing about break ins, knife wielding robbery and having your heart broken. Not a bad combination for song ideas.

 "25 To Life"
sets the pace for the record. This is one of those tunes that upon first listen you just simply fall in love with the song. It's catchy sing along chorus and lyrics like "in a world of nightmares you're a sweet sweet dream. Just about the prettiest thing that I've ever seen.", it's just pure pop genius in the form of a punk rock tune! I love it!

"How Do I Get To You" keeps it going with slashing riffs and another big sing along chorus. Harmonies galore, this is a damn fine song. The band, Intruder Blue (vocals/guitar), Intruder Green (guitar), Intruder Orange (bass) and Intruder Red (drums), are rooted in pop punk with a splash of 50's doo wop in certain areas. Everything they touch turns to gold on this album. There's not a bad, or even sub par, track on this release. It's just a great record front to back.

"Heart Shaped Guitar"  is the feel good hit from this album. This should be a lead off single complete with video counterpart. The songs about a guy who falls head over heels for a girl. And to show his dedication to her, he stands out on her lawn singing her love songs on a heart shaped guitar. Very sweet and romantic, right? WRONG! The girl in question has no idea who this guy is and calls the cops on him. STALKER ALERT!!! It's sweet, sappy, cool and funny all at the same time. And if the song's story line wasn't great enough, the band got Maura Weaver from the band Mixtapes to duet with Blue on this track. And she rocks it! 

"Stick Em Up" 
is the hardest track on the album. But it's still a great sing along song about armed robbery. Trust me, you'll be singing "stick em up, stick em up, stick em up. I got a knife motherfucker stick em up" by the end of the track. It sounds like a song that could lead to corrupting the minds of the young, but don't be fooled. These guys are having way too much fun to try and corrupt your little brother...even if he is playing with only half a deck.

Closing out this album are 2 of my favorites. "Wish You Were Mine", with it's 50's doo wop sing along I mentioned earlier, is just a fun track with lyrics like "I want ya to show me romance. Won't you give a lonely masked man a chance". How can you go wrong? It shows the full potential this band has going for them. And "Crazy" is equally as good. Riffs galore and a great beat make it hard to not like this song. Go ahead, just TRY not singing along with the chorus...if you can honestly do it, I'll pay you $50! But I'll keep that fifty snug in my wallet because you won't be able to NOT sing along.

Masked Intruder are a band that will achieve greatness in the years to come. It's not just schtick with the masks...this is a band with talent, drive and a commitment to it's craft. It's no surprise that they were signed by Fat Wreck Chords yesterday. It's an obvious choice for a label who's roster also includes Teenage Bottlerocket, The Lawrence Arms and NOFX. Show some love for these knife carrying, B&E loving goofballs and pick this album up. It's a must have for all you pop punk fanatics.

5 / 5 stars

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