Even within the realm of our pervasive remix culture, where people take the songs of other artists and re-interpret, re-contextualize, re-purpose, juxtapose or otherwise use as source material for some ongoing recombinatory antics, Canada's Walk Off the Earth is doing something that stands out.
It's not uncommon to find gag, a cappella versions of pop or genre-jamming mash-ups of hip-hop and emo or metal and dance, bluegrass renditions of hip-hop, etc. But Walk Off the Earth is made for our fleeting video-centric appetites. Walk Off the Earth is known for its wildly inventive YouTube covers, which often involve unorthodox instruments or gags like having five musicians play a single guitar to get drums, bass and melodic lines out of the thing. Walk Off the Earth is sort of like some futuristic art school pastiche of Barenaked Ladies, OK GO, Weird Al, Pentatonix, the Gregory Brothers, and the Blue Man Group, using a bit of humor, a bit of genius choreography, precision vocal chops, social media and DIY theatrical flourishes.
The band makes radio hits in its garage using scraps of plastic, chimes, foot stomps and maybe a ukulele. Watch their covers of Adele's "Hello" or of the Chainsmokers' "Closer" or of any of the other mega-hits that you'll already have memorized just from ambient exposure to pop radio. This band does an impressive job of giving a visual and clever jolt to songs that have otherwise started to recede into the background from overplaying.
Walk Off the Earth takes the stage at the Grand Theater at Foxwoods, 350 Trolley Line Blvd., Mashantucket, Saturday, March 25, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50. foxwoods.com.