Yerkish and Something Underground July 5, 2007 The Soiled Dove Better than: Whatever passes for “Must See TV” these days Slide Show 99.5 the Mountain's Homegrown Showcase got underway with Yerkish burning through an invigorating set of heavy art rock as a bizarre video reel projected on either side of the stage. Standout tracks included “Megaman,” about everyone’s favorite blue robot superhero, and “Stasis,” a ripping political barnstormer about the disgust and hatred much of the world feels for the U.S.
Yerkish's sound isn’t too far removed from Tool or A Perfect Circle. But while Tim Kaminski’s voice bears a strong resemblance to Maynard James Keenan's forceful croon, and the act's epic song structures and prog metal style is similar, Yerkish didn't come off as a bunch of poseur wannabes. The occasional bluesy guitar solo, pseudo-jazzy swing song and a few completely mental flourishes helped kept things fresh.
Something Underground followed Yerkish and played a solid set of funky, soulful blues rock that, at times, veered dangerously close to jam band territory. Actually, the act seemed more like a jam band, easy on the jam. To that end, Something Underground will appeal to fans who wish Phish would just play it straight and replicate its album live, without the noodling and wankery. The band closed its set with a tune that offered slight variations on a single, simple, heavy but funky riff and a pair of covers -- “Kashmir” from Zeppelin, with bits of Tool and House of Pain woven in, and “Imagine,” by John Lennon.
Overall, Something Underground exhibited solid musicianship, played some pretty catchy tunes and displayed a genuine, obvious connection with the audience. It might be more fair to say that anyone who misses the days when rock could just be rock, without a qualifier, could easily fall in love with this group. If that still sounds completely unappealing, Something Underground probably isn’t going to set your world on fire. -- Cory Casciato
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Critic’s Notebook Personal Bias: I enjoyed Something Underground’s set, but it’s the kind of thing I can really only connect with live. Random Detail: Yerkish sold every copy of its new album it had on hand. By the Way: The Soiled Dove is an incredible venue, but it's a bit of a haul.