What Studio 52 Says: Since 2014, Boston trio GEPH have been perplexing listeners with their master level of technical skill paired with extraordinary songwriting tendencies. It can be easy for progressive music of any kind to lose sight of one important aspect of writing songs: Making them listenable. While countless others have failed in that regard, GEPH prevail, and they’re ready to push the limits of music as we know it with their terrifically progressive yet beautifully listenable instrumental jazz metal.
Chapman stick players Josh Goldberg and John Tyler Kent riff their way around each other flawlessly, filling the low and high ends simultaneously and creating something so intricate yet so musical its hard to believe these guys are of this planet (cue the X-Files theme). At times you might catch yourself counting along in search of the ‘1’, but your body is instinctively moving with the beat. Drummer Josh Merhar is an odd time aficionado, manipulating complex rhythms and odd meter to make them more danceable and listener friendly. Geph’s upbeat and driving parts are eclipsed only by their roaring heavy moments while their slow, shoegazey parts add contrast to the blend, occasionally progressing into heavy, sludgy, almost doom metal full body headbangers.
2018 was an active year for GEPH, as July brought the release of their sophomore album Apophenia, for which they did a Southeast U.S. tour. To find out what fans can expect from GEPH, Studio 52 caught up with drummer Josh Merhar.
Studio 52: So what’s new with GEPH?
Merhar: We are in the middle of writing a whole bunch more music. Actually, we’re playing a new song on Friday (tonight), never before played live.
Studio 52: That sheet music up on your website is crazy you were in 15/8 there and some other odd time signatures…
Merhar: That’s for Splinter, right? That was the very first song we wrote together as a band. Most of it is in 21/8, I’ve never notated something in full like that before. Just got to think of the smaller pieces, if you can decode those, it’s much easier to conceptualize.
Studio 52: So you’re working on a new album, any idea when it’ll be done?
Merhar: No [laughs], give us a while. It takes us a while to write songs, it’s space jazz.
We’ll give them all the time they need, and although we know it’ll be worth it, we wont enjoy the wait. As we eagerly anticipate their forthcoming album, don’t miss the opportunity to hear their new music live. Experience one of Boston’s fullest sounding trios for yourself at Great Scott tonight (Friday, January 11); GEPH kicks off a night stacked with progressive bands also featuring sets from Vitamin Sun, The Beast of Nod, and Myth of I.