By Surprise have a song called “Daggermouth Is Playing At My House” which led me to believe that they were another band aping the pop-punk-hardcore-easycore genre. That said, I was pleasantly “surprised” (see what I did there?) when I listened to “Mountain Smashers” from beginning to end and realized that they have more in common with The Hold Steady, Built to Spill and The Promise Ring than with Daggermouth.

Listen to “Realometer” – DOWNLOAD MP3


The record starts off with the gang vocal-heavy song “Books By Thoreau,” and is followed by the extremely catchy “Mostly Harmless.” The aforementioned “Daggermouth Is Playing At My House” is one of my favorite songs on “Mountain Smashers,” if only for the fact that it’s such a gentle sounding tune with fleshed out imagery.

Though it’s easy to see where By Surprise take their influences from, it’s that kind of transparency that also makes them a fun band to listen to. They’re not bogged down by trying to invent some crazy new genre milking bands that most kids could give two flying shits about. Instead, they’ve given us Mountain Smashers, an album that is just as much as a party record as it is an introspective look at being a twenty-something who grew up on the Crank distro catalog.

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