cotoba‘s form of tongue is essentially a love letter to Japanese math-rock. The technical, mainly instrumental music focuses on the use of rhythms between every instrument and create an audio journey that brings the listener along.
The first release is a four song EP, highlighting the core talents while showing off the influences. “Odori” sounds a lot like toe, though at less than two minutes is more like an introduction to show off the band’s initial talents. It gets to the point very quickly and starts manipulating the tempo about half-way through. In some ways, it’s like “math-rock-light” rather than a fully realized song because it sounds a bit abridged.
“Oatmeal” follows the same theme with the toe-influence. cotoba highlight tricot and Kinoko Teikoku as well, but it does feel like the band goes by song on which influence it adds. I can imagine “Oatmeal” as a toe song on their later albums.
The third song, “Frittata,” brings in the Kinoko Teikoku sound with some tricot accents. The addition of vocals do add more dimension, but at the same time, also add a limiting factor to how the song is able to explore more freely. “Frittata” finds its groove very quickly. The drums seem to follow the guitars as the lead with the vocals accenting the verses.
Rounding out the digital release (the CD version contains an extra song), “Disparition” starts with a toe introduction and continues throughout most of the track. Listening to form of tongue, it’s more clear that toe serves as the foundation of cotoba’s music with the other influences having slightly softer audio mentions.
There isn’t a lot of Korean math-rock. The majority of instrumental music sits in post-rock or shoegaze. These are also technical genres, but math-rock has its own signature that is recognizable, especially if you know cotoba’s influences.
The band has released a solid foundation with form of tongue. It would be interesting to hear a fully developed album and see where the band is able to go.