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Former Bigwig members Max Béchard and Jeremy Hernandez planted the seed that would soon become the punk band Near Miss when they recorded a four-song demo in summer 2001. Bassist Mychael Bingham and guitarist Sean Cockrell joined the duo a few weeks later, and the Austin, TX, band reached fruition, releasing their debut album, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, on Fearless Records in July 2002. That same year, Cockrell left the group, leaving Near Miss to continue on as a trio. Supporting the record, Near Miss toured relentlessly over the next few years, performing on Warped Tour and with such bands as Sum 41, the Vandals, Gob, Rise Against, and the Lawrence Arms. The band signed with Takeover Records in late 2004, entering the studio early the next year with Steve Kravac (Less Than Jake, Tsunami Bomb) to begin work on their sophomore effort. They appeared on a three-way split with the Matches and Reeve Oliver the following summer; spring 2006 was spent on the road with Killradio before Testing the Ends of What They'll Put Up With was issued that May. Touring continued through summer as Near Miss welcomed ex-Staring Back guitarist Joshua Portman into their ranks.