Doctor Tongue

Doctor Tongue

Anybody can have an existential crisis, but not everybody can make it fun to listen to. “Not everybody” means musical eccentrics Doctor Tongue, who’ve found the funkier side of emotional detachment on their infectious groove of a new track, “Forget About Love.”

A deceptively boppy little outing in a quasi-Curtis Mayfield mode, the song is actually meant to convey the alienation of today’s culture – specifically the isolating effect of personal devices and other single-user technology. Yet from the universality of the lyrics and the irresistible pull of the music, you could easily assume you were merely listening to a great, format-busting hit about romance gone bad.

Forget about the fortune

Forget about the pain

Forget about the torture

Forget about the fame

Forget about the darkness

Forget about the light

Forget about me

Forget about love

Forgettable? Anything but. Like the bombastic SCTV horror host with whom they share a name, Doctor Tongue work in vibrant 3D. The Hamilton, Ontario-based sextet finds inspiration in genres as diverse as rock, funk, soul, hip-hop and country. “Forget About Love,” though, is way more cohesive and focused than that eclectic list of influences might indicate. From its confidently strutting rhythm to the fuzzed-out, high-sustain guitar that squeals around the supple vocal line, the song sounds like the opening number to a lost blaxploitation flick – if blaxploitation flicks had been about retreating from personal attachments instead of taking down neighborhood pushers.

 And if any band could be excused for giving in to the urge to retreat, it’s Doctor Tongue. Formed in the midst of the COVID quarantine, the group made a grand debut in May 2022 at the Come Together festival in Durham, Ontario. Tragedy struck not a year later, when guitarist and founding member Dylan Matthews tragically passed away. Instead of curling up in the fetal position and going to radio silence, the unit  reconfigured itself, rallying in a style as bold and triumphant  as vocalist/keyboardist’s George Panagopoulos’ top hat and funky shades. The current lineup is rounded out by Mark McMaster on drums, Olivia Brown on bass and vocals, Chris Wheeler on guitar, Tom Bigas on percussion and Jethro Mann on rhythm guitar and vocals.

With four singles under the group’s collective belt pre-“Forget,” the current plan is to release a new song every 6 to 8 weeks, telling the story of Doctor Tongue in song and video until the results can be compiled into the group’s first-ever full-length album. Building anticipation a few months at a time? Sounds like the best prescription for engagement a doctor could write.


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