Walk Off the Earth
R.E.V.O.


2.0
poor

Review

by Ben Thornburgh CONTRIBUTOR (121 Reviews)
May 3rd, 2013 | 16 replies


Release Date: 03/19/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A bowl of oatmeal with thumbtacks hiding at the bottom.

My favorite YouTube cover is originally by Swedish trio Earto. They take Robyn’s Call Your Girlfriend and strip it down to percussion provided by butter lids and airtight harmonies. It’s absurdly impressive and looks really difficult, like huge amounts of time and effort went, not just into the performance, but the arrangement and how it shed new light on a song. Pulling away all the elements of a massive synth burner to almost nothing exposes the bleeding heart at the center of the dance floor.

But what’s more impressive is how the 12 & 8-year-old American duo Lennon & Maisy Stella redo that with their freakishly developed country drawls. The talent on display is wonderful but what’s more impressive is Robyn isn’t a major star in America like she is in Sweden. Despite releasing tons of phenomenal music Robyn has never caught on in the states. Which means Lennon and Maisy’s cover has turned millions of people onto an artist they would have other wise never heard of.

This is the exception, not the rule. YouTube is otherwise drowned in a flood of gimmicky covers of popular songs that do not need the boost whatsoever. Many of these cover bands are talented too, they're just taking the shortest route to success. The true nature of the YouTube cover is shameless self-promotion. Worst part is, its working. Timeflies answer the age-old question “What if bros dropped hot fire over a dance remix of Kansas’s Carry on My Wayward Son?” 53 million views later, they have a record deal. Karmin surpass dentist drills in general cranium related annoyance with their murder-suicide covers of Chris Brown and LMFAO songs. 215 million views later, they have a record deal. And sitting on top of the garbage pile, Walk off the Earth, with 149 million view of their buffalo-guitar take on ”Somebody That I Used to Know” alone.

Allmusic praised it as “stunning” some dude on Wikipedia calls it “a classic all its own” but if you close your eyes, cramming everyone around one single guitar adds nothing to the song. It sounds like a competent cover that people used as a stand in for the (far superior) original song until that caught on. Hell, even if you open your eyes you have to watch the entire band mug for the camera so that’s out too.

Now they have a record deal and their exhaustingly boring album follows in its wake.

Tracks one through four float into your brain and straight out the back, even though everyone in Walk off the Earth are competent musicians with a strong sense of melody and finely textured voices the fact remains that these songs are totally hookless. Right at home in elevators and waiting rooms. The only semi notable thing about any of them is “Gang of Rhythm”, which is a meta song about creating all these boring folk rock songs. “Bring in the uke and it will complete the groove!” Hand me my bucket.

But if REVO were simply inoffensive, it would put them head and shoulders above their competition.

I direct your attention to “Sometimes”.

WOTE remember they once covered a Rage Against the Machine song and decide to drop some hot fire into their lame folk album. What emerges has to be heard to be believed, but quotes will get you most of the way. Check out these opening bars, “You’re at the top of my list/Higher than milk and eggs/Higher than Huey’s fist”. More? How about “I dismiss promiscuous misses/like Jehovah Witness does to Christmas”. MORE? HOW ABOUT THIS? “If you call out in distress or need/I’ll be there more than a Mormon marries”. Their bars can’t even just be lame; they have to be ignorant.

Hypocrites too. “We never sold the flame!” they cry on the self-titled opener “Not for love or money!” If you didn’t sell the flame for money, why is your cover of “Somebody that I Used to Know” on your album? It's the exact same song, it adds nothing to the record. How do you explain the deplorable “Money Tree”? “You sold out for that tree/And I'm just playing here for free”. Are you guys for real, or are you just f*cking with us now? You put this song at the end of an album full of radio ready refrigerator buzz. You left your indie label SlapDash Records for the cash crammed arms of Columbia Records and you have the nerve to scoff at the bands you’ve left behind while lining your pockets with major label money.

Young artists, I beg you. Don’t do this. Form a band, make music with friends, and cover songs you love. Don’t rent expensive studio equipment and begin churning out lame covers of popular music to gain quick success. You have to keep your head down and develop your own styles or you’ll end up with bland mush like this. Walk off the Earth are figureheads for laziness disguised as creativity, dont be like them.



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user ratings (8)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
May 3rd 2013


1641 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Between this and my Karmin review, I think its clear that I hate YouTube cover bands. I thoroughly proofread but this is only 50 words shorter than my Acid Rap review so something has to be edit worthy. Help a brother out below.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
May 3rd 2013


10302 Comments


My ex positively loved these guys, and I would've written about how shit these guys are but I don't have the mental fortitude to commit to it.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
May 3rd 2013


10302 Comments


And shit, this review is scathing to the point of being unprofessional. That last line, man? Come on-- I dislike them too, but you should be more diplomatic about music reviewing

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
May 3rd 2013


1641 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Eh... Alright I'll take a look at it.


HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
May 3rd 2013


1641 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Okay, cut the last bit and the beginning to my paragraph about "Sometimes"

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
May 3rd 2013


1641 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yepp, this is a bit rant-y. Added a touch of positive to the 7th paragraph.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
May 3rd 2013


10302 Comments


Just keep in mind that these guys, no matter how much you hate their music, are ultimately doing what makes them happy. Sure, it's derivative and predictable, but you should never personally deride them (or any musician, to be honest) just because their art isn't your thing.

Don't get me wrong: you can criticize artists, but there's a professional way to handle it. See Channing's review of Say Anything's latest album, and look at how he handles it.

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
May 3rd 2013


1641 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

you should never personally deride them (or any musician, to be honest) just because their art isn't your thing.

^^

I agree with you to a point. Their pig headed hypocrisy crosses that line, they've offended me with their total lack of self awareness. Not to mention the awful example they put on for aspiring musicians.

Your avatar is fucking hypnotic.

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
May 3rd 2013


1641 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Merged a few paragraphs.

TheMoonchild
May 3rd 2013


490 Comments


Yawn. Remember the days when it took MORE than a YouTube cover channel to get signed?

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
May 3rd 2013


1641 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Now you need a Soundcloud too

TheMoonchild
May 3rd 2013


490 Comments


ESPECIALLY the pussy!!!

Butkuiss
May 3rd 2013


4223 Comments


"I dismiss promiscuous misses/like Jehovah Witness does to Christmas”

Come on that's gold.

SatiricalPhlegm
May 6th 2013


1 Comments


These guys actually used to be pretty damn good. Their first album, Smooth Like Stone On a Beach, was just delicious. This shit sucks though.

Green Baron
August 22nd 2013


20068 Comments


complete shit

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

Mutantsnowstorm
June 30th 2014


148 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album ain that bad, it's "good feeling" music, and the band seems to doing what they love...I like it. Saw them this weekend and i swear their live show is freaking incredible



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