Music News

Yerkish

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.
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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.