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Yerkish is a language created by experimental researchers to facilitate communication between chimpanzees and humans using geometric forms. And that's about as apt a metaphor as you'll find for this band's approach to creating its music. Just as mathematics is the most direct approach that humans have devised to communicate with intelligent species not our own, music is an art form that doesn't require you to speak the same language in order to appreciate it. Initially, this four-song EP sounds like yet another prog-metal band trying to emulate Tool -- which we've all had just about enough of by now, haven't we? It quickly becomes apparent, however, that there's much more going on, as mathy progressions collide with improvisational jazz and cerebral lyricism. Although Yerkish presents a somewhat dim view of humanity on Vignettes, the songs are tempered with a defiant hopefulness. First impressions aside, Yerkish has much more to offer than mere Keenan and Patton idolatry.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.