MASKED INTRUDER: Self-titled: CD

2011. I’m on tour in Boston, walking around the city post-set, depressed as hell. Life is not going well. I get a text from our guitar player telling me that I should get back to the club pronto. The band playing now is “fucking awesome.” I cannot actually remember the last time this particular guitar player has enjoyed a band (let alone sent me a text). I high-tail it back in time to catch the last half of Masked Intruder’s set. Four dudes in different colored ski masks doing a hood/stalker schtick playing pop punk. I try to be cynical (the bad mood, remember?) but can’t. They really are “fucking awesome.” They brightened my whole day with their Ramonesy, classic Lookout-flavored pop punk. I had some trepidation upon receiving this in the mail though­; being a “gimmick” band is a tricky tightrope to walk. Lean on the gimmick too hard, nobody cares about your songs. Abandon the gimmick, pretty soon you’re Kiss without the makeup. (Although let’s be honest, they started to suck years before they took the makeup off.) This could have easily sucked and ruined my good memory. However, Masked Intruder does a pretty good job with that particular balancing act. You could enjoy these tunes on their own merits without even realizing that all of the love songs were really songs about weird, creepy stalkers in different colored ski masks. Provided, of course, that you really dug super catchy pop punk. And fuck you if you don’t.

 –Ryan Horky (Red Scare, redscare.net)