Masked Intruder - Love and Other Crimes (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Masked Intruder

Love and Other Crimes (2016)

Pure Noise

Masked Intruder continue to do what they do best on Love and Other Crimes, but they do add a new flavor right off the bat. The opening chord progression of first track “Take What I Want” sounds like an AC/DC song sped up 20 bpm and continues into the verse with a little low string hammer-on move underneath the typical power chords. Solid song though, and they keep fighting the good fight against their old nemesis ADT: “I come and get it when you’re not at home / It’s so pathetic that you think that you can stop me. / But then, oh snap, you got that ADT. / Now the boys in blue are all out to get me. / Dick move! / It’s cool, I still got your stuff dude.”

They’re quickly back to their typical Ramonescore on “First Star Tonight” (similar theme to M.I.’s “Stars”...). Masked Intruder has always been on the poppiest side of pop punk, and for some it’s a criticism that with their pure vocals and smooth oldies-inspired harmonies they aren’t “punk enough.” As far as I’m concerned, fuck that. This chorus cannot be denied, and it’s got a kickass guitar solo and some guitar harmonies in the bridge. “Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt” stands up against the band’s best songs, with a fantastic chorus with a well-crafted melody, and the background vocal harmonies shine on the breakdown underneath Blue singing ”Don’t call the cops on me baby / Gimme a chance to make you believe” before busting into the last chorus. “Running From the Cops”, while the fastest song of the set, is filler to me. Running from the cops seems a bit uninspired as far as their schtick goes.

Every good doo wop band has a 6/8 song on their record, and “Still Always on My Mind” fills that role here. The drumming is a bit heavy handed with too much hi-hat, but they bring it down nicely in the second verse to get the classic feel of the genre. “If Only” is a sweet closer with a very singable chorus: ”You could be my Winnie Cooper / You could be my girl / You could love me back this time / And we could share the whole wide world” and more tight harmonies in the bridge.

Masked Intruder surely isn’t reinventing their formula, and an EP wouldn’t be the place to do it. But it’s another solid 6 songs to add to your summer playlist, cranking the tunes as you lead the police on high-speed chase.