Elf Power Walking With The Beggar Boys

Whether they’re still involved with Elephant 6 is now irrelevant because Athens, Georgia’s Elf Power are way beyond the fuzzy psych-pop they practiced in their early years. A possible move towards maturation, ringleader Andrew Rieger has abandoned the colourful experimentalism and assembled a full-on pop’n’roll arsenal. Walking With The Beggar Boys is reportedly different in its approach because it has a change in the band’s cast of characters, inviting Craig McQuiston of the Glands and Eric Harris of Olivia Tremor Control to join in. Though it fails to make that instant connection the past albums A Dream In Sound and The Winter Is Coming did, Beggar Boys doesn’t falter the way its predecessor, 2002’s Creatures did. Rieger’s potent pop vision is still hard at work, conceiving well-crafted melodies with lyrics that are far less obscure than they were five years ago. Only "The Cracks,” which sounds like the band’s equipment vomiting an electronic mess, threatens the flow of the album. The only real problem the band faces is whether they still have an audience now that they’ve deserted the sound that made them appealing in the first place. (Orange Twin)