WALK OFF THE EARTH play April 12 at the Danforth Music Hall. See listings. Rating: NNN
Burlington's Walk Off the Earth have achieved household-name status (in some households anyway) based on the success of their YouTube channel - in particular their five-people, one-guitar version of Gotye's ubiquitous Somebody That I Used To Know. (Gimmicky, yes, but it's also a great performance and recording.)
But if people are discovering artists through cover songs on YouTube, what's the point of making an album? WOTE use the opportunity to showcase original material. Musically omnivorous, the multi-instrumentalist singers and drummer draw from anthemic indie rock, 90s alt-rock, the current roots-pop craze, reggae and hip-hop to make quirky yet accessible sunny mashups with touches of banjo, uke, harmonica and more high-tech bells and whistles.
The songs work best individually, though, and the tune Gang Of Rhythm is admittedly stronger when paired with visuals.
Top track: Somebody That I Used To Know