Masked Intruder are a tricky bunch. They bill themselves as a gang of ex cons out on the lam. They keep their identities a mystery and wear brightly colored ski masks to conceal their faces. Gimmicky? Sure. But if there’s one thing these four outlaws are guilty of, it’s making a criminally fun album.
The band plays a sappy brand of pop punk very reminiscent of the early days of Lookout! Records bands. It’s fair to say that Masked Intruder are students of the Screeching Weasel/Riverdales school of 1950s jukebox-style pop punk, with a heart-on-the-sleeve brand of lyrics.
But what makes these songs really unique is that they all employ the band’s crook schtick to give their otherwise cutesy sound a creepy lovelorn vibe. The whole album reads like a Valentine from prison, with the liner notes reading more like ransom notes.
If the lyrics didn’t have such a sugary sweet delivery, you might throw up a red flag and call neighborhood watch for a breaking-and-entering in progress. But instead, lyrics like these go undetected in the bushes outside your house at night:
"Tell me, baby, will you be mine for 25 to life?"
"You just can’t charm a lady with a knife. But that sucks. ‘Cause it’s all I know how to do. Girl, please tell me how do I get to you?"
"Why you calling the cops, baby? I don’t mean you any harm…Is it because of my mask or just because I’m brandishing a knife? Why don’t you love me in real life?"
"Hello, beautiful, I can tell just by the look that’s in your eyes that you don’t consider this a nice surprise finding me here in your house."
Overall, a nice little piece of pop punk gold that makes criminal activity way more catchy than it probably should be.
reviewed by Dan Ozzi