Artist: Masked Intruder
Album: Masked Intruder
Label: Red Scare (2012)
Key Jams: "25 to Life", "Heart Shaped Guitar", "Stick 'Em Up"
The Skinny: Masked Intruder are a pop-punk band who blend Ramones-core with elements of doo-wop and whatever the fuck you wanna call the Grease soundtrack. The premise of the band is that they're love-lorn petty criminals who are equally unsuccessful with the ladies and the legal system. Anonymity is part of the shtick, so they all wear masks on stage and talk in fake Queen's accents. If that sounds goofy to you, don't worry-- I'm pretty sure that's the point.
Pros: Melodies are catchy as fuck, lyrics contain plenty of hilarious one-liners, 50's shtick is done well.
Cons: Lyrical subject matter gets grating quickly, standard issue pop-punk with funny gimmick.
The Verdict: Worth a listen, not worth the hype.
I saw these dudes play with Teenage Bottlerocket months ago and they were pretty impressive, but for whatever reason I didn't listen to them on record until recently. I don't usually go for "gimmick" bands, but these guys do their thing well enough that it isn't immediately dismiss-able. If the singer was born in a different era, he could have made young women swoon with his coy crooning and impeccable sense of melody, but I guess he'll just have to settle for making beardos laugh with his sharp one-liners instead.
Unfortunately, no amount of catchy melodies or hilarious jokes can really save 13 songs about essentially the same thing from getting monotonous by the end. I wish they'd included more fast songs about petty crimes (a la "Stick 'Em Up) because you can only listen to so many crooning ballads about a pathetic dude breaking into a girl's house before it starts to get a little weird. I dunno, it's usually hard for me to make it through an entire pop-punk album without getting bored due to the lack of variety in the music, and this album is no exception. When Masked Intruder is on point, it's really on point (the song "Heart Shaped Guitar" is done particularly well) but a lot of it is also forgettable. Maybe people who are really into this kind of music can appreciate the album a lot more, but I just don't get the hype surrounding it.