Future Pigeon are a local 8-piece reggae band who play with a live sound engineer. They sound like dub producers Scientist and Lee “Scratch” Perry collaborating at one of those LSD-spiked Coca-Cola parties from Go Ask Alice; the sparse but steady dub jams of the former interplaying with the loopy sound effects and insane brilliance of the latter.
Classic reggae rhythms are made bass and drum heavy, with spine-chilling voice-overs from classic horror and sci-fi movies; jarring, echoing background noises; triumphant horns; skittering, unique percussion; and strange vocals that are more The Specials than Sublime. With occasional pick-ups into faster-paced ska as “punk” as they seem to get, despite what we had been told, thier performance Saturday night at Moca’s Night Visions was undoubtedly the coolest free ticket in town (free, that is, if you hung outside the velvet rope where amatuer picnicers, the poor, and impatient could watch and listen without lines, liquor or loot).
In essence, Future Pigeon’s music is great Southern Cali-white boy reggae, with their sunny-side turned down; perfect for a shawdowy, skanking, smoked-out club crowd, which is maybe why their performance at MOCA seemed more subdued. Under the stars and Nacy Rubin’s massive rearrangement of Airplane Parts, among an older museum crowd who seemed appreciative, though not necessarily moved, Future Pigeon showed focus and enthusiasm, while just stopping slightly short of completely rocking–or tripping–out. Seemingly ubiquitous in Los Angeles these days, we have a feeling their upcoming shows, tonight at Spaceland and Wednesday with Jamaican legend Rankin’ Joe at Dub Club, will be much more to their, and our, liking.