To say that Near Miss is an eclectic band is to hit their target right down the middle. While songs like “Serious Mess” bring the band into emo territory, a song that happens only a few minutes after “Serious Mess” like “Call For Help” recalls the halcyon days of early Sum 41. The band can do any one of tens of styles equally well; the band’s pedigree means that they are able to pull from a tremendous amount of influences.
The eclectic nature of “Testing The Ends” may be something that irks some listeners, but it is good to think of Near Miss’ album more as a compilation than as a coherent statement. By removing the necessity to have ties between track son an album, individuals can appreciate the album much more. A lot of the press has been about the band trying to pick up a few extra styles, in the hope that they could make it big. I would pose that this is a clinic done by mature band members that know exactly what they are doing; the constant that individuals should perk up and pay attention to is the same high quality that each track on “Testing The Ends” adheres to. Other individuals may have found fault with the different time signatures worked under by the multiple vocalists on tracks like “Now Rectify”. To do this without creating a high amount of dissonance on the album shows that the band knows what the hell that they are doing; the well-oiled machine that is Near Miss can switch their sound in the space of just a few seconds and not lose any of their listeners.
Where a track like “Falling Out” would seem to be filler at best, one can hear the beauty of the band the clearest. There is a firm line drawn by the guitars, while the vocals point at listeners’ pressure points. This vocal power is comparable to Yellowcard, where the slightly-nasal quality of Yellowcard’s vocalist was able to send chills up a listener’s spine at will. Near Miss keep a high amount of energy during their “Testing The Ends”, and this should be the primary reason why individuals are kept dialed in for the entirety of the disc. Just remember to take this disc as a compilation rather than an as an album, and chances are that the beauty of the album will become apparent soon after.
Top Tracks: Serious Mess, Take It Back
Near Miss – Testing The Ends of What They’ll Put Up With / 2006 Takeover / 12 Tracks / http://www.nearmissmusic.com / http://www.takeoverrock.com / Reviewed 10 July 2006