You know how every director who makes a movie set in New York City always says that the city is as much of a character as the actually characters? Gainesville is kind of like that when it comes to punk rock. It has a certain influence over the bands who come from there. It influences the way a band sounds in different ways. It’s kind of like Philadelphia in that regard. Bands from there sound like they’re from there. A few years ago you couldn’t read a punk rock zine or blog without being inundated with Gainesville bands. That said, Edmonton is a punk rock band from Gainesville. And, by god, you can tell.
I mean that in the best way possible. While the ground has been well tread, Edmonton offers enough of themselves to make it still sound fresh. The staples are there, heavily muted guitars, leads that are simple and catchy, and an overall heart that most of those bands have. There are gang vocals in all the right places, and everything hits dead on the money. Anyone who likes that kind of punk can absolutely stop reading this now. This record is for you.
What stands out is that they have avoided the gruff punk thing almost entirely. In fact, Walk It Off sounds more like a Samiam record than, say, a Grabass Charlestons record. It’s melodic punk with a touch of emo throughout. The vocals are clean, the music is melodic, and it’s got hooks for days. Edmonton are pulling from a diverse group of influences. That fact really helps keeps them from being just another Gainesville band.
Walk It Off is a solid, cohesive record that works well as a whole. The songs are also good enough to stand on their own. Any one of them could be a single. “Ghost In The Machine” is certainly one of the standouts. It builds up to a huge chorus that will worm it’s way into your head. It’s companion song, “You’re Just A Ghost In The Machine” is obviously a similar case. But, you know, with gang vocals. Awesome. Even the titular track, and album closer, works. And that is despite the fact that it spans to damn near six minutes.
To make a long story short, Edmonton is definitely a band that has a little for everyone. They’ve got enough Gainesville sound to appeal to the bearded, flannel types. And they’ve got enough of everything else to appeal to the people who make fun of those people. It’s a good record, folks.