Reviews

Walk Off The Earth

The moments we shine are the ones where we have forgotten that people are watching, when we are just 'us' doing the things we do because we love to do them.

By Larry Pattison
Published January 09, 2012

As artists, athletes, business people, as employees and even as lovers, we spend our lives trying to stand out amongst the crowd.

In our search for love, what is it about us that will make the person of our dreams take notice? As prospective employees, what is it within our skill set that will make an employer choose us among hundreds or thousands of applicants?

As artists, we plug away each and every day at the media that drive our passions. At some place deep inside, we all hope one day to find the thing that makes us stand out in our chosen field and turns our evening passions into full-time dreams.

The moments we shine are the ones where we have forgotten that people are watching us. When we stop thinking about what that 'thing' will be that makes us stand above - that's when our talents and skills are noticed. When we are just 'us' doing the things we do because we love to do them, that is when we are best at what we do.

Walk Off The Earth

A local band called Walk Off The Earth was seemingly doing just that: playing music, making videos, doing what they do best and are most passionate about.

An independent band from Burlington, Ontario, they were just on the brink of stardom before they posted their latest video, "Somebody That I Used to Know," a cover of a Gotye song of the same title.

I had never heard of either the original or cover artists before yesterday, but although I love Walk Off The Earth's version and video very much and feel it deserves the acclaim its receiving, Gotye's original video is certainly more powerful with regards to the emotion of the lyrics.

The original, which features the amazing voice Kimbra, is also a must-see.

Overnight there were blog posts referencing this video, they'd been talked about by national news media across the globe, and fans from around the world were even begging them to come play in their country.

Recombination

It is amazing where following your passions can lead you. Just when you thought the magic of this two-day roller coaster ride was fait accompli, ScottMay put together a side-by-side comparison of Gotye's original and Walk Off The Earth's cover.

He blends the two videos onto the screen where we see the remarkable resemblance. If you thought the harmony was already amazing between the five WOTE members, add Gotye and Kimbra and wow! One commenter wrote, "My ears are tingling." Mine too!

This cover had gone up a couple hundred thousand views just in the time it took me to watch some of their videos and write this blog post. When I first stumbled upon it, the morning after it was uploaded to YouTube via a link from Hamilton Seen, the video only had a few hundred hits. I woke up Saturday morning to have another look, and it was over 800,000. Walk Off The Earth, had found 'their' thing.

I have now watched a handful of their videos, and my favourite is Money Tree. As a former student of animation, I love their utilization of stop motion animation.

If you thought "Somebody That I Used to know" was extraordinary, you must take a look at his cover of Eminem's "Love the Way You Lie", embedded below. This is one guy, Gianni Luminati, and four instruments (five if you include his loop station pedals).

He starts off with a snare made out of a piece of metal, then he hits the loop pedals, he picks up his ukulele, plays, hits the loop, starts playing what looks like a laptop but sounds like a xylophone, loops it, raps a bit, reaches for his guitar, and brings in other instruments throughout the song. He does all this while belting out the lyrics with a powerful, captivating voice others across have compared to Peter Gabriel.

I first fell in love with the ukulele from Train's Hey Soul Sister. I have fallen again. Luminati is a modern day Beck.

Also check out his cover of Bruno Mars' "Grenade". I am not as big a fan of the cover itself as I am his intrinsic use of odd objects to create sound. "In Grenade", he uses "a five gallon water bottle, a gun, two knives, a kick drum, a ukulele, a guitar, a glockenspiel and his Mouth" according to the description.

Share the Love

Now that you know these guys, share some more Walk Off The Earth love. This collective is no one hit wonder. They are the real deal. Extremely talented and creative and for all you local peeps, this magic was mastered just across the highway. LIKE!

As I was obtaining links to provide below, I noticed that the band received a little  treat late the other night. It seems even Gotye himself approves of this cover:

I know who to ask for help with acoustic versions of Somebody: Walk Off The Earth bit.ly/wIOlea Hilarious and brilliant.

Here is some more information and links for Walk Off The Earth:

If you only click one of these many links, check the YouTube channel out most importantly. You'll be on there for hours. I guarantee it. Their endless creativity is most predominantly showcased on their channel.

At last I checked, this video had reached 6.1M+ hits. Unbelievable.


First published on Shaking The Tree, Larry's personal website.

Larry Pattison is a local blogger, life-long resident of Hamilton, and father to two amazing girls. Larry is also an elected member of the HWDSB Board of Trustees for Ward 3.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 09, 2012 at 12:19:13

The Spec just posted a piece about the success of this video as well, which includes a quote from WOTE's Facebook page.

“To all the independent musicians out there. I hope this shows that you can make a name for your band with no help from record labels and management and next to no money. Stay true to your dreams and your passions, whether they be music related or not. Don’t wait for people to help you because they never will. The only time the music industry will want to help you is when you have done all the work yourself!”

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 09, 2012 at 12:27:14

It's exciting to follow the progress of the craziness that has been WOTE's past handful of days, including interaction between the guys and Russell Crowe.

"@russellcrowe - Check out Walk Off the Earth's cover of Somebody I used to know. Brilliant"

WOTE replied to Crowe with a link to this original of theirs. Luminati plays stand up base and harp on this track. This guy is truly an amazing talent!

I guess that answers my 'do they need a harp player' question. ;)

Comment edited by lawrence on 2012-01-09 12:35:52

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 09, 2012 at 21:39:40

They sure have come far from when I used to see them about 5-6 years ago at the Casbah. I remember the bass player naming his ax 'Laqueesha'! I also remember more of a reggae twinge way back then though.

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By dwntwn invstr (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2012 at 00:09:21

Thank you thank you thank you.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 10, 2012 at 08:55:10

Fantastic stuff, Larry. Much appreciated. Especially liked discovering Sarah Blackwood.

Big manly hugs to you. : )

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 10, 2012 at 09:06:31 in reply to Comment 72899

She is something isn't she? Quite the voice and it seems from he FB page, that there is a future with her and WOTE. Officially, I believe the band is/was only 3 members. She ads what Paula Tessaro brought to Ray Lyell. A voice that screams man alive, she has a beautiful voice!

Comment edited by lawrence on 2012-01-10 09:32:41

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By bambam (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2012 at 17:43:49

this ones better! hahahah.
1 GUY PLAYING 5 GUITARS!

http://youtu.be/Twig1OuLmgE

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By davidsalisbury (registered) - website | Posted March 12, 2012 at 05:30:24

When I watched their first popular cover video, Somebody I Used to Know, I knew they were onto something. Not often do you have people who were so musically talented and such great voices come together. They were really creative in their videos too, and a few of them were shown to be good in multiple instruments. They made me a fan right away!

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted March 13, 2012 at 13:00:40 in reply to Comment 75179

I agree David. That video brought us in but hanging around their YouTube channel for awhile sold me. Their videos were/are creative, and the multi-talent on various instruments intrigued me. Especially with Gianni.

Beard guy even has his own FB page now. lol http://www.facebook.com/pages/Epic-Beard...

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By rjyourwood (registered) - website | Posted March 15, 2012 at 02:38:38

Bands like this make me glad that the Internet was invented. Prior to the widespread use of Internet, it was almost impossible to discover wonderful bands unless your friends passed you their CDs or you went to watch them live.

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By rjyourwood (registered) - website | Posted March 15, 2012 at 04:19:21

A band like this would find it hard to become popular in the days before youtube, because there was less chances for them to get publicity. There was also less chances to express creativity like this, because who would want to attempt this, if no one else was watching? I like their act. It is refreshing, unique, and off the beaten path. If they are good at covers, perhaps they can try playing their own music?

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