Just one short year after their debut full length Every Day I Tell Myself…, pop-punk duo Misser have returned with their most exciting batch of songs yet. It’s rare for a side project to outdo the bands that spawned them, but if Misser’s latest effort is a sign of things to come, they’re working on something spectacular. Featuring members of Transit and This Time Next Year, Misser’s new EP Distancing proves they’re not going anywhere as they do anything but distance themselves from the listener. In fact, it marks an improvement over their debut in just about every way as they lay down some solid groundwork to build on.
To understand how much Misser have advanced musically since their last effort, one doesn’t need to look any further than the high-octane opener ‘Goddamn, Salad Days.’ It’s one of the most aggressive songs they’ve done, as Tim Landers (Transit) steps his game up and delivers some of his harshest vocals to date which match the hardcore vibe of Brad Wiseman. He sounds better on this release as well, with what seems like his most effortless performance as his voice is more energized than ever, but he doesn’t feel forced. However, ‘Burn Out’ is the track that’s destined to turn heads with its definite Brand New vibe and the flawless vocal trade-off of Landers and Wiseman. It’s not that they sounded awkward on their last effort, but they lacked the undeniable chemistry that that’s oozing through their new EP. Every song bleeds into the next with ease as both members complement each others vocals with a newfound confidence. Other songs like the fast-paced ‘Infrared’ are shorter in length, but no less effective as they are overflowing with sing-along choruses and emo-tinged guitar lines.
It’s almost unfair to classify Misser as ‘pop-punk’ due to the various influences that are glittered throughout every song ranging from indie to hardcore, but they clearly have a pop-punk center. This center is only strengthened by the layers that surround it, and the improved vocals and instrumentation act as the glue that keeps it all intact. Apart from the music itself, the lyrics have also matured since their last venture. Lines like Nobody’s gonna save me now or Out of my godamn mind, all of the godamn time are simple, but effective and showcase the band’s ability to take somewhat pessimistic lyrics and turn them into a really good time. I can’t stress the impact good lyricism is able to have on the genre, and while Distancing doesn’t have the most meaningful lyrics I’ve heard all year, they’re above the majority of their peers and a welcome improvement over their last release, Every Day I Tell Myself…
In a year that’s already been exceptional for pop-punk fanatics, it might be a little too easy for one to overlook Misser’s Distancing, but they’d be missing out on one of the most honest, well-crafted releases of 2013. Forget the fact that it’s only an EP. There’s more worthwhile content packed into these five songs than most bands in the same playing field are able to fit into a full album. It doesn’t hurt that both members have already had experience in respectable bands, but there’s just something special that happens when they work together and thankfully their newest effort strengthens that statement as it builds a strong foundation for Misser to work with.
1. Goddamn, Salad Days
3. Burn Out
4. Alone, Die.
5. Slow It Down // Write It Out