I’m in love. Not unrequited love though. I’m in love with Masked Intruder. I have a rule: NEVER skip a Masked Intruder song, EVER. For those of you who don’t know who Masked Intruder is, why let me explain. Masked Intruder is a pop punk band from Madison, Wisconsin. Consisting of four members: Intruder Yellow (Bass and backing vocals), Intruder Green (Rhythm guitar and backing vocals), Intruder Red (Drums and backing vocals) and Intruder Blue (Lead vocals and lead guitar); these band members together create a fun, fast-paced, and energetic sound with catchy melodies and lyrics. Oh, and those catchy lyrics I’m talking about are mainly about home invasions, robbing you or just committing petty crimes. Why? Because it’s in the name of love! These guys are hopelessly in love! Masked Intruder is just that – a bunch of masked intruders. Each band member wears a colored ski mask with matching Chuck Taylors and matching colored instruments and you don’t find out their identity underneath the mask, hence the names Yellow, Green, Red and Blue. I think you can put together which name goes with the appropriate member. I should mention that police Officer Bradford is always lurking around in the music videos or live on stage as the hypeman. Masked Intruder’s latest album is 2020’s III Turbo. It’s a great album, but if you want to talk about favorite Masked Intruder albums I would say that my favorite is their 2012 self-titled album, Masked Intruder.
Do songs ever make you get giddy? Do they make you feel like your body has been invaded with a swarm of butterflies so filling that you think they might explode from your mouth? Do these giddy feelings make you want to jump up and down, spin around and just dance? Every single song on Masked Intruder does that to me. They’ve figured out the perfect combination between simple and effective punk rock chords with a pop structure reminiscent of the genre in its early days and they’ve made it their own unique style. If you were to take The Ronettes “Be My Baby”, mixed it with The Ramones and swapped out love with crime then you would have the Masked Intruder sound. The thirty minute duration of this album allows me to be vulnerable due to the romantic aspect, but in a fun way where it allows me to feel comfortable as well instead of exposed. The comfort can be attributed to the fun in lyrics, for example Blue sings in “Breakin’”:
I’m breaking in
Cause you broke my heart
And I’m all broke up
Since we broke apart
And I’m breaking down
Now that you’re not around.
I can identify with being love sick but at the same time the emotion from the song feels light because although sick with love there’s also a break in going on in the background. “Unrequited Love” and “Why Don’t You Love Me in Real Life” also show the side of Masked Intruder’s welled up heart. “Heart Shaped Guitar” is such an adorable song and it makes me feel all warm inside. The back and forward dialogue between a boy declaring his undying love for a girl that he stalks outside of her window all while she threatens to call the cops and proceeds to tell him that he needs mental help is just amazing and hilarious. Even though Blue is seriously creepy and needs a 72 hour evaluation, you can’t help but adore that voice and believe the passion behind it.
You also have cool songs like “Stick ‘Em Up” which reminds you, “Hey…these guys are criminals, remember?”. The lyrics sing, “Stick ’em up, stick ’em up, stick ’em up/ I got a knife, motherfucker, stick ’em up” so in case you were wondering about this band that seems to be caught up in a whirlwind of obsession and heartache, here’s a friendly reminder that they will still rob you:
I got a knife, it’s a switchblade
I think It’s time for me to get paid
Gimme your money, don’t hesitate
Or you’ll regret it
Say no more, just take the cash dude. You’re obviously going through a bad day and I don’t want any trouble. The energy is consistent throughout the entire album. Even the slower songs have an upbeat tempo and you’ll still dance. One of my favorite songs on self-titled is “Wish You Were Mine”. I’ve blasted that song over and over and over in my life constantly dedicating it to “The One”. The doo-wop opening to “Wish You Were Mine” instantly melts my heart. And the lyrics are so raw, honest and powerful. It is the perfect pop punk tune. The song starts off by singing, “All I want to say to you/Is that I wish you were mine/All I want to do to you, oh, oh/Is everything all the time” and it continues to get deeper when Blue sings:
But you lock yourself in your castle
Away from the pain and hassle
Oh, baby, can’t you see
That you’ve been locking out my love, as well?
I want you to show me romance
Won’t you give a lonely masked man a chance?
Until you do I will be blue
And living here in my own private hell
‘Cause I wish you were mine
The song just makes you want to fall in love. My other favorite song on here is the final song “Crazy”, it’s a magnificent ending and it’s easy to sing along loudly to. What does anyone really ever want to hear? They just want to hear that someone is crazy in love about them, hopefully it’s a scenario where you love them back, but again this song is raw and honest too. It’s a final admission of undying love, and I can think of a few times in my life where I just wanted to say to someone, “I don’t want to admit it/But I’m crazy for you/And I know that I won’t be acquitted/But I’m crazy for you”. I don’t know about you but this nutcase is a bit charming, someone give him a hug.
So grab those stepping shoes and get ready to boogie down to jams like “How Do I Get to You”, “Am I Only Dreaming” and “I Don’t Wanna Be Alone Tonight”. Take Masked Intruder in for the hopeless romantic entertainment that it is and be amazed by this clever album. They’re also so very exciting to see perform live. I can say proudly that I danced so much that I lost my shoes in the crowd and never got them back, I just walked around Downtown Fort Lauderdale in socks after that and thought nothing of it. Masked Intruder, I love you, and I want everyone I know to love you too. I just want you to know that I’ll be yours for twenty five to life.
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