Near Miss - Testing the Ends of What They'll Put Up With (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Near Miss

Testing the Ends of What They'll Put Up With (2006)


Near Miss contributed 3 very confusing and distracted songs on a 3-way split EP about a year ago on Takeover Records. As their sophomore full-length here, Testing the Ends of What They'll Put Up With (their first in nearly 4 years [!]), was recorded around the same time, it suffers from the same problems. Near Miss is a melodic punk band who, instead of seamlessly combining the pop, rock and skate-inflected punk styles into their sound, awkwardly throws moments of each around, often resulting in very uncomfortable scenarios.

Take one of the disc's shorter tracks, "Call for Help." Despite its brief 1:23 running time, the band manages to outright boggle the listener with Fenix TX-styled harmonies at first and then metallic guitar solos at the end. Huh? "Serious Mess" brings more of that band's characteristics to mind, but it's simultaneously dark and even running with a hardcore influence, a jumble that sounds like what would've happened if FTX put up with stylistic differences and in-fighting over such and went ahead and recorded the followup to Lechuza. "Now Rectify" is near perfect pop-punk, one of the few times the band seems to know what they're doing, but even it ends with some fits of overly aggro yelling.

"Take It Back" and "Last Goodnight" offer relatively uninteresting, ineffectual balladry. "In a Daydream" has a nice bounce to it but feels like it's missing a certain bite. "Feel When You Find" could be a great melodicore track if the vocals were more in line with the tempo. "The Choice" is one of the better offerings, catchy, nice and varied guitars and keeping in tune with the ever-present melancholic vibe carried throughout. "At One Place" sounds like something from one of No Use for a Name's latest releases (read: mediocre, curiously poppy and somewhat cutesy skatepunk). The bitter and angry, nearly pissed "We All Bleed" and "You've Mistaken" end the disc on painfully somber notes -- quite solid ones at that, at least.

There's a fair bit of genres thrown into the melting pot on Near Miss's Testing the Ends, but after a few tastes, I don't think quite enough stirring took place, unfortunately.

Call for Help
Now Rectify