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Elf Project - 'The Great Divide' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/e4/bd/85/2837_elfprojectthegreatdivide_1350317507.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 15, 2012    
 
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Right from the off, no pretence, no apologies, Elf Project sounds like Rush.

You know how sometimes you put a CD in the player for the first time and slowly but surely are gently reminded of other acts, some of which become clear after a few listens, some over a period of months? Well, you’ll have none of those experiences with ‘The Great Divide’ by Elf Project, oh no. This sounds like Rush. Right from the off, no pretence, no apologies, Elf Project sounds like Rush from ‘Moving Pictures’ to ‘Roll The Bones’. In fact the excellent (if you like Rush) opener ‘We Pay The Price’ goes as far as to borrow so much of the lyric from the Rush track ‘Bravado’ that I initially began to wonder if it wasn’t an elaborate reworking of the Canuck trio’s ‘Roll The Bones’ classic. Even with the thumping drum sound, Geddy Lee like voice, pumping keyboards and singing guitar lines, it is actually an original recording of an “original” song, but - and here’s the thing - there’s also no denying that it’s pretty damn excellent.

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Things change little from there, with the approach happy to remain hugely led by messer’s Lee, Lifeson and Peart. Whether it is the nasally vocals, the crisp, busy drumming, the bright guitar attack, or the ever present keyboards - or indeed how all of these aspects play off each other, there’s no denying that the end results sound familiar. For some I’ve no doubt too familiar. ‘The Siren’s Call’ hammers home with a throbbing bass, while it is the layered vocals and atmospheric washes of keyboards that make ‘Love For Sale’ rather effective. However, if truth be told, at no point do you stop wondering what this trio (come on, you’d worked out they were a trio as well hadn’t you?) would sound like if they tried their hand at something ever so slightly more unique.

Plenty of other acts have used one band as a major influence and gone on to have a long and fruitful career and in truth I see no reason why Elf Project should be any different. Rush themselves seem to have moved on from this hyper clinical, keyboard heavy sound and Elf Project deliver their amazingly similar material with great skill. Whether they turn out to be to your taste or not will depend entirely on whether you like middle period Rush - and are happy to hear another band convincingly reinterpret that sound.

Steven Reid

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