It really is something to anticipate the release of an album. More than a casual listener stopping by to hear new material from a band, building up your hopes for a band to deliver a new batch of songs is different. Waiting seems to be a familiar feeling with the members of Misser, a pop-punk duo containing members from notable acts Transit and This Time Next Year. “I hope like hell you mean it when you say that I'm worth the waits”, both musicians harmonize in closer ‘The Waits”. Fresh from their EP “Problems.Problems.Problems.”, Misser delivers a great album in the fashion of “Every Day I Tell Myself I’m Going to Be a Better Person”, and it sure was worth the wait.
The music found on Misser’s first LP is not far from the members’ own bands. Pop-punk remains the game, with catchy, shout-along choruses, driving rhythms, and uplifting melodies. There is however one thing to Misser that allows them to stand out among their contemporaries, a prevalent influence from Midwest emo bands such as The Get Up Kids. The guitar lines and melodies found on this album could easily have been on the aforementioned band’s “Something to Write Home About” or The Promise Ring’s “Nothing Feels Good”. Throughout “Every Day I Tell Myself…” we are treated to guitar parts that recall that sound but are given a pop-punk twist. This works greatly to Misser’s advantage on tracks such as “Just Say It” and “Reconnect This”.
A common flaw to pop-punk is a “been there, done that” feeling a listener gets, especially when it comes to lyrics and song structure. Misser is not innocent of this, however they are able to keep things fresh and engaging throughout the album. Some cringe-worthy lines are present, see “I’m Really Starting to Hope the World Ends in 2012” and its repetitive lines “I’m so sick of the songs on the radio, I’m so sick of these stupid f***ing TV shows” which seem uninspired and could be the content of any band’s lyrics. This however is overshadowed by truly sincere lines on other tracks, which are relatable on nearly any level in a mature yet fun way. Take the song “Bad News” with its driving verses, slower pre-chorus, and powerful chorus with the line “Or I could just drive away, save us both the trouble - save it for another day.” The listener gets a feeling of honesty from the vocalists, something that is very absent from other pop-punk acts.
It is impossible to listen through “Every Day I Tell Myself…” without noticing the vocal work. Tim Landers and Brad Wiseman do a trade-off style of singing which recalls a ‘Tell All Your Friends”-era Taking Back Sunday. This is another distinct characteristic of the music that gives Misser its identity. The vocal style is what builds the structure of the songs, and really brings them out to grab the listener’s attention. A slower part by one of the singer’s is complemented by a faster part by the other, creating a listen that is truly unique. After a few songs, the listener cannot wait to get past the instrumental sections and get to the vocal sections, something that says a lot, given how great the instrumentals are. It’s even enough to fix some generic songs like “I’m Really Starting to Hope the World Ends in 2012”, where both vocalists trade-off their voices to create an amazing outro. It works so well.
With its original guitar work, outstanding vocals, and sincere lyrics, Misser is really onto something here. It’s hard to imagine them not having a great career ahead of them with a debut album as well done as “Every Day I Tell Myself…”. Their sound is well-crafted and stands out, their lyrics and passion are remarkable, and the duo vocals are tasteful. On the acoustic song “Sanity”, the duo sings “I’m saying maybe, crazy is better off for me”. Whatever works, Misser.