Fat Wreck (2014)
Sometimes there's a really fine line between being average and being great. On the surface, Masked Intruder doesn't appear to be doing anything all that special or inventive. It's reasonably basic 3-chord, Ramones-esque pop punk. But they have managed to craft their songs to really stand out from the pack.
Sure, they have their mask gimmick and though I've not seen them play live, I've heard it's a really fun show. What really sets Masked Intruder apart from their peers is their attention to detail when recording these songs. M.I. is perfectly produced. The guitars sound huge, the drums are powerful, the lead vocals are perfectly balanced in the mix; but the key to Masked Intruder are the backing vocals. This band utilizes backing harmonies better than probably any other current rock band. They're on practically every song and elevate each one to be something special.
There's quite a few hits here. From the fighting against the man (but losing) anthem "I Fought The Law" to blazing lead guitar driven "Crime Spree" to the somewhat lower key album closer "Locked Up And Lonely" Masked Intruder are firing on all cylinders. In some ways it's a better album than their debut. There's no annoying shouty songs like "Stick Em Up," but I was more blown away by the first album when I originally heard it. I wouldn't say M.I. is disappointing in the least, I guess now I just expect great things from this band. Thankfully, they usually deliver.
Masked Intruder - "I Fought The Law":
Masked Intruder - "Crime Spree":