Fans of Bigwig should be especially elated with the debut release from Near Miss, a group which consists of former members of the aforementioned band. Those who aren't as familiar with Bigwig's often silly pop-punk or are just less than amused by the style shouldn't instantly write off The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, as it is much more focused and spends more time laying down exceptionally fluid punk rock songs with heart. "Walk Away" is saturated with adhesive hooks and a decidedly rock breakdown, avoiding the expected pitfalls of the vast majority of the pop-punk division. The rapid-fire assault of "Answers" makes it stand out as much for its tenacity as for Jeremy Hernandez's exceedingly melodic punk drawl. There is very little here to actually compare with Bigwig's rather generic punk effort, and it is clear that Near Miss is a group who has potential within their genre confines. Excluding the album title, which is shamelessly derived from a Faith No More song of the same name, this is a punk release worthy of attention, and is surprisingly more enjoyable than 99.9 percent of the swill that the pop-punk genre is weighed down by.
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AllMusic Review by Jason D. Taylor