Album review: 'R.E.V.O.' showcases reggae, island style for indie band Walk off the Earth
Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 23:03
The name Walk off the Earth went viral after the Canadian band’s cover of Gotye and Kimbra’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” was viewed more than 140 million times on YouTube. But the band from Canada didn’t jump too fast as the record companies began beating at its door.
“R.E.V.O.” is an extension of the EP Walk off the Earth released last fall.
“Gang of Rhythm” is the strongest song of the set and essentially sums up what the entire album sounds like. A quiet guitar opens the song, and as the lyrics sing about a kick drum, a kick drum comes in and pairs with the acoustic guitar. Most importantly, “Gang of Rhythm” sets the stage for the island/semi-reggae style Walk off the Earth employs throughout “R.E.V.O.”
“R.E.V.O.” is subtly joyous and completely infectious. The melodies are catchy, and one of its songs, guaranteed, will become a summer anthem.
A more folksy guitar riff spreads through “Speeches,” the faster-paced fourth track. A trumpet sits in the back of the song, similar to the way alternative band Cake layers brass instrumentals into the backbone of tracks. Yet another contagious chorus line is in “Speeches,” not as subtle as the other tracks with a stronger pushing style.
The next track, “Sometimes,” begins with vocals very similar to the “Across the Universe” soundtrack, but then some rapping comes into the song. The rapping doesn’t fit with the instrumentals, and the singing and rapping trade on and off but don’t mesh well.
“Shake” features more female vocals, and the instrumentation sounds similar to Imagine Dragons.
The cover “Somebody That I Used To Know” is also included on the album.
“These Times” employs a similar style as the rest of the songs with the island feel, but the lyrics are less original and sound as if several bands have already sang the same words.
As the album progresses, the reggae style becomes more and more prevalent. “Summer Vibe” is another summer single ready for the radio, as the vocals warble on about being ready for the sunshine. Plus the ukulele opening fits the track’s tone perfectly.
“Money Tree” is a less distinctive track and doesn’t have any marking or exceptional factors, and seems like a filler track shoved into the album right at the tail end.
“R.E.V.O.’s” best and most defining factor is its island style and the meshing of male and female vocals. Had the female vocals from Sarah Blackwood been left alone, the album would have been dangerously close to a Taylor Swift-bubblegum-pop rather than indie-pop. The band clearly took the time to make a well-developed album and grabbed influences from the top indie names in the industry.