May 08, 2013

Did the “Teenage Dirtbag” band change their name to Masked Intruder?! The Wisconsin-based foursome seem to have worn out their copy of “Pop Punk 101” with their Fat Wreck debut, which comes complete with a gimmick (multi-coloured balaclavas), a heavy Chixdiggit influence, and harmonies that The Supremes would’ve been jealous of. There’s pop punk and then there’s pop, which is the category Masked Intruder falls under. The music on the album is harmless and completely inoffensive, but if this is even remotely punk rock, then I’m Monica Bellucci (spoiler: I’m not Monica Bellucci). Hearing the lead vocalist’s look-Ma-I-just-finished-puberty voice singing about how he’s got a knife and wants your money on “Stick ‘Em Up” makes you chuckle and want to pat the cute little guy on his head. “Don’t worry, son—you’ll get your ten dollar allowance tomorrow!” For all you grown punkers with spawns, your kids will probably like this music, and it’s not the kind of pop punk that’s so bad that it makes you want to break out your gat at the neighborhood Hot Topic. The songs are saccharine, shallow, and way too produced, but they’re also catchy as hell. You’ll hate yourself tomorrow when you find yourself singing “In a world of nightmares you’re a sweet, sweet dream / Just about the prettiest thing that I’ve ever seen.” Trust me. –Rishbha

 –guest (Fat Wreck Chords,