Topshelf Records Release Debut LP from By Surprise

Topshelf Records (Grown Ups, My Heart To Joy, Pianos Become The Teeth) is excited to announce the debut 12″ from By Surprise (Haddon Heights, NJ), Mountain Smashers, is now available. First pressing of the vinyl will be limited to 500 (400 Black and 100 Smoke). Friend Of Mine in Japan will be releasing a CD version in early Summer.

To celebrate this week’s release, you can download two tracks from Mountain Smashers. Check out “Realometer on RCRD LBL and “$600 Exorcism” on Rock Sound. You can also stream the album in its entirety on

Also, the band recently did a Y Rock Studio Session where they performed six songs. You can listen/download those songs at WXPN’s local music blog The Key.

Safely guarded behind four pairs of glasses and an arsenal of awkward tendencies, the members of By Surprise have spent an equal amount of time combing through the forgotten dust-filled grooves of 7-inch records released during the 90s indie label boom, as they have with the off-beat and inspirational works of Henry David Thoreau, Jack Kerouac, and Douglas Adams. Mountain Smashers, the band’s first full-length album, romanticizes with the feelings of reluctance we’ve all felt towards growing up, slowing down, losing touch, and selling out. Clocking in at thirty minutes, it combines both the influence of those dusty 7” records, often overlooked, with the lessons learned from the aforementioned authors. It admits defeat, while exuding reassurance. It questions the norms, while embracing the inevitable. The guitars are loud and the feedback bleeds, the vocals clash in uniformed motion, and the lyrics are kind of weird. It’s by far the band’s most focused effort to date, and in some ways, it’s their most adventurous.

Mountain Smashers was recorded in the band’s hometown of Haddon Heights, NJ at The Gradwell House with Dave Downham of Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start, and was mastered by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering Service. Weston, bassist of Shellac and an also elder statesman of the independent music scene, has also worked on records with such bands as Archers of Loaf, Boys Life, Polvo, The Get Up Kids, Vitreous Humor, Sebadoh, and LCD Soundsystem.Topshelf Records Release Debut LP from By Surprise

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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