It's amazing the things you stumble upon while doing a little background research for a music review. For instance a search for the band 'Elf Project' lead me to information on a scrapped military project (Project Sanguine - also called Project ELF), a giant radio transmitter in Clam Lake, Wisconsin which was intended to communicate with submerged submarines by use of (ELF) extremely low frequency electromagnetic radiation (radio waves) - with frequencies from 3 to 300 Hz. And since ELF waves can penetrate seawater to a depth of several hundred feet, both the US and Russian military used this form of communications with submerged submarines. But there have been both ecological and health related issues reportedly associated with ELF, including nerve and muscle stimulation, and changes in nerve cell excitability in the central nervous system. Anyone familiar with paranormal shows like 'Ghostshunters', 'Ghost Adventures', and 'Paranormal State' have come to know the term EMF (electromagnetic frequency) as a natural explanation for some hauntings since EMFs have been known to cause sensations of uneasiness, paranoia, or unexplained fear (the Fear Cage Effect) in certain individuals.
And like the ELF waves of Project Sanguine, long term exposure to the band Elf Project may result in unintended consequences as well, like the involuntary rhythmic tapping of your foot or head bobbing.
Though not yet proven to be a health risk by the World Health Organization - the music on their latest release "The Great Divide" is addictive and highly infectious.
The line-up for Elf Project includes: Mike Cappadozy (guitars), Carl Schultz (bass, keyboards, vocals, production), and Dave Wayne (drums). The bands hails from Voorheesville, New York.
"The Great Divide" is the follow-up to the Elf Project 2009 release "Mirage". But for all intents and purposes "Mirage" was a solo project from multi-instrumentalist Schultz, augmented by guest musicians - two of which included Cappadozy and Wayne.
For "The Great Divide" Schultz, Cappadozy and Wayne solidified forming a bona-fide three-piece power trio with a passing nod to the Canadian rock legend Rush.
Actually "The Great Divide" owes much more than a passing nod to Rush ... I'd go so far as to say this album encapsulates vintage Rush during their prolific synthesizer period between 1980 - 1989, when the group pumped out such great classic albums as "Permanent Waves", "Moving Pictures", "Signals", "Grace Under Pressure", "Power Windows" and "Hold Your Fire".
From the opening salvo of "We Pay The Price" there is little mystery as to Elf Project's major influence. The only mystery is ... "can they pull this off throughout the album?". And then comes "The Sirens Call" and you know the answer is a resounding ... yes!
Elf Project - like fellow Rush-clones Tiles (whose album "Fly Paper" I reviewed back on 6/24/08) - have arguably produced the best Rush albums to come down the pike in many a year.
Rush may have transitioned back to their guitar-driven rock and roll roots, but Elf Project has targeted with pinpoint precision that prolific era in time when radio friendly classics like "Tom Sawyer", "Closer To The Heart", "Spirit Of Radio", and "Subdivisions" ruled the airwaves
Stand-out tracks include: "We Pay The Price", "The Sirens Call", "Love For Sale", "No More Monkey Business", "Reach Out", "Heaven Above", "What I Believe" ... oh Hell ... the entire album is a winner.
This is arena rock at it's finest, complete with hook laden pop melodies and complex progressive instrumentation - propelled by the rock solid rhythm section of Schultz and Wayne, an imposing wall of sound from Cappodozy's power chords and chunky guitar, and a healthy dose of atmospheric lead and backing keyboards from Schultz, all coming together to make for one truly energetic and satisfying album.
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on August 7th, 2012