HO HO WHO: The four members of Madison, Wisc., pop-punk band Masked Intruder wear intimidating multicolored ski masks supposedly to hide their identities, but I suspect they don disguises to conceal an inconvenient truth: This is not a punk band at all! These dudes are a bunch of softies. That much is revealed in Masked Intruder’s catchy but totally downcast Christmas anthem “Under the Mistletoe,” the A-side on its forthcoming holiday 7-inch.
(CHEER) UP THE PUNX: Pop-punk bands are supposed to write happy songs about being stoked on everything, right? I guess Masked Intruder is going off-message, because “Under The Mistletoe”—-an original by the band—-is a total bummer. Like, more emo than any emo revival band. “Under the mistletoe/I waited all alone/Praying for you to come home/And fork over all your kisses,” sings Intruder Blue (I told you, their identities are secret!). But wait, it gets worse: “I guess I should have known/Baby that you’d never show/I hung my head down low/And cried as it snowed this Christmas.” Yeesh.
DUMPED ACTUALLY: OK, “Under the Misletoe” is nothing to clink egg-nog chalices to—-but then again, this is breakup season. The song kind of nails the hopelessness and self-pity of getting dumped during this time of year, complete with a subtle dig at one of my least favorite Christmas movies, Love Actually: “Hope you had a Merry Christmas/Even though you left me here/With a still-wrapped copy of Love Actually/And a sixer of your favorite beer.”
CHEER FACTOR: 5/10. Anyone that’s going through heartbreak this holiday season should curl up next to a fire, put this song on repeat, and have yourself a nice little cry. It might save you from Grinchdom.