ARTIST: MASKED INTRUDER

TITLE: III

LABEL: PURE NOISE RECORDS

RATING:  7/10

WORDS: JACK MOBLEY

Masked Intruder are back with their third full-length album aptly named ‘III’ and if you are expecting an expansive, deep or layered record then maybe give this a skip but if you are in the mood for fun, catchy pop punk melodies and riffs then stick around for this whirlwind of a album. The bank-robbing, balaclava wearing, steal-the-girl gimmick that Masked Intruder have based their entire career around is certainly an identity that makes them stick out as an outfit and in an age of pop punk that has grown stale and cookie-cutter-like, this album harks backs to it’s roots with some 90’s twists thrown in and a healthy amount of doo-wop. Members: Red, Blue, Yellow and Green deliver a high energy level and excitement that is at the front and centre of all 12 songs on this 30 minute record, coming and going like a sugar rush with all the sweet melodies that it comes with.

The most obvious thing about the style and execution on ‘III’ is the straight up, honest, simplistic nature of the record. No fancy frills, just catchy riffs that have been used before but of course they have, it’s tried and tested! The sweet vocal melodies with soft backing harmonies that compliments each other that never gets convoluted, then guitar solos and leads that cut through to elevate the songs above the simple four chord progressions.

“The most obvious thing about the style and execution on ‘III’ is the straight up, honest, simplistic nature of the record.”

As soon as the first chorus line hits, you know what you can expect, “You’ve got no case on me bro”. The song has an anthemic feel to it and is still very basic but honest in it’s nature. The Beach Boys influences makes it’s way into the record on ‘Mine All Mine’ with an abundance of swing and doo-wop that could easily fit into a ‘Greasers’ diner.

Liberating ‘Free At Last’ keeps the energy up which shifts the theme away from girls and cops to an inspirational story of overcoming depression in the most jovial tone. ‘Please Come Back To Me’ epitomises the simplistic nature of Masked Intruder, showing it’s not what you do but how you do it: nursery rhymes lyrics, basic structure and a solo to mix it up in the slightest of ways. Then B & E ups the ante with a rebellious song that feels like a PG punk song, energetic but happy claps thrown in to keep the poppy and upbeat vibe.

As the record reaches the latter half, you know what to expect. Although the band do well to mix up their formula, only so much can be done in the way of creative chord progressions. The slightly slower tempo of ‘Not Fair’ feels like filler while the album tails off with little to none big, memorable moments. That is until the closer ‘I’ll Be Back Again Someday’ which feels like the band are sitting in a convertible waving as they ride into the Californian sunset.

“a blast from the past record that oozes nostalgia as it pays homage to those who paved the way in the early pop punk scene”

The candyfloss nature of ‘III’ is nothing new or innovative but that’s not the point! The fun and frantic energy mixed together with wholesome doo-wop and melodies makes for a blast from the past record that oozes nostalgia as it pays homage to those who paved the way in the early pop punk scene.

The undeniably simple yet upbeat vibe of the record can understandably get repetitive and predictable but it’s not trying to hide anything about it’s DNA and what they do is executed to a very high level.

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