Walk off the Earth (WOTE) has been known as one of the best cover bands for years, and I knew nothing about them until Philip DeFranco (the best news source) featured them in 2011; now I can never get enough of their sound.
The band formed in 2006 in Burlington, Ontario with Gianni Luminati, Ryan Marshall, and Petey Pablo, and now consists of Luminati, Marshall, Sarah Blackwood, Mike Taylor (the beard guy), and Joel Cassady. The indie band quintet first gained fame and recognition for their covers of popular songs like "Magic," "Love the Way You Lie," "Payphone," "Party Rock Anthem," and "Little Boxes" but the band is not an actual cover band and does have a lot of good original songs. While the fun loving band first began to gain fame and garner a fan base when they began to cover these hit songs, they did not garner an amazing amount of fame until they released their cover of Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know," resulting in attention from record labels (which had no part in their initial success) and a wider fan base.
The band has released four albums and, while Vol.1 and Vol. 2 both had amazing original songs, they were also watered down with the covers the band had done (all of which are amazing; nearly all of their covers are better than the original). My Rock and, their newest (featuring all current band members), R.E.V.O. EP are the only albums which feature, solely, the band's original songs; they are both great.
I'll be the first to admit that I much prefer "Cheers (Drink to That)" by Gianni and Sarah over Rihanna's original and that I really adore the band's covers of "Payphone" and "Magic," but their original songs are so much greater than the credit which they have received. With the amazing amount of instruments each of the members can play (guitar, electric guitar, cigar box guitar, cigar box ukulele, bass, banjo, kazoo, drums, keys, theremin, xylophone, ukulele, trumpet, tambourine, piano, keyboard, and each member adds their vocals to the tracks), the beautiful lyrics that are so easily manipulated into any song format (due to their vocalists' seemingly innate skills), and each member's individual music style, there is no way that their original songs could be any less than perfect.
"Once in a While," "Little Sin," and "Julia," have that relaxed ska/reggae sound that the band is so great at creating and which is featured in so many of their other songs ("Backin' Up Song" and "Gotta Go" [and most every song on My Rock] to name a few), while "Broke" and "Money Tree" show how the band is just as adept at creating a great indie rock sound.
Their latest album (R.E.V.O. EP) is especially amazing, as the songs are a really great mix of these two genres which the band is so great at creating. "Summer Vibe" leans towards that reggae sound that is so great on lazy days, while "Gang Of Rhythm" and "Speeches" are this really great mix of reggae and alternative/indie rock (the composition is great for an alternative/indie rock sound, the vocals can fall into either genre grouping, and the lyrics are great enough to not need a genre to fall back on [though they could easily be classified as either reggae or indie rock]). "Red Hands" falls squarely into that indie/alternative rock genre and is an amazing song; I cannot get enough of it. I can play "Gang Of Rhythm" and "Speeches" on repeat, but "Red Hands" is the only song which I know I will never grow tired of during and after all of my listenings; it is fantastic and kind of perfect (and the music video is altogether amazing).
The band is great and, if the way which they so easily pick up all these assorted instruments does not make you like them, then those vocals which just make you smile (as they are so great) will make you fall for the band. Walk off the Earth is amazing and, if you like them, support them by buying their albums and sharing them with your friends, because they deserve far more credit for their original songs than they have received and they need to continue making music.