Anonymous punk-pop quartet Masked Intruder - Intruder Blue (vocals and guitar), Intruder Yellow (bass and vocals), Intruder Green (guitar and vocals), and Intruder Red (drums) - look in their ski masks and black outfits and Converse like the sort of dudes that might break into your house. Instead of stealing things, however, they seem more likely to perform a guerrilla punk show in your kitchen while drinking all of your beer and stalking the young women present. And this band's brand spankin' new album on Fat Wreck Chords, M.I., is comprised of thirteen catchy pop-punk songs whose lyrical content is largely focused on love and crime, sometimes both at once.
M.I. opens with the infectious bad boy number "I Fought the Law," accurately explaining how such a task is always a losing battle by singing, I fought the law but the law beat the shit out of me, among other things. The second track, "The Most Beautiful Girl," served as the album's single, and while it doesn't have that lawless flair of the other songs, and while it is such a sugary pop-punk song that one can get some serious tooth decay just listening to it, it somehow manages to grab hold of the listener and doesn't let up for its duration, a little less than two minutes (see video above). "Crime Spree" is another standout on the album, with its muted guitar for the versus and open chord progressions for the choruses and lyrics about taking one's girl and committing crimes together, like a punk rock Bonnie and Clyde. "Stars" is a sweetly tame love song whose lyrics further prove that even felons can be hopeless romantics. "Almost Like We're Already in Love" can be best summed up, I think, as '50s soda shop rock'n'roll and doo-wop meets pop-punk, with honeyed vocals and nice harmonies and well-placed finger-snaps. "Weirdo" has a decidedly Weezer Blue Album feel to it. And "Locked Up and Lonely," the album's closer, starts off with clean strumming and picking and nice vocals, and then breaks into the sort of pop-punk for which Masked Intruder have become known since their...um, first self-titled album (the one that isn't abbreviated).
Masked Intruder's M.I. album was officially released by Fat Wreck Chords on May 27, 2014. It is available on CD, LP and digital download.