There’s a serious groove that permeates each track on Justin Pinkerton’s debut record as Furturopaco. Not the typical groove, though. This album has an aged vibe to it that makes it feel both like some lost, sweaty acid-fueled Ennio Morricone score; as well as some Goblin recording session fueled by a night of over consumption of The Doors and some ultra fine vino. With a gig as the drummer of psych rock outfit Golden Void, Pinkerton lays down 9 tracks like he’s got something to prove(he doesn’t.) The results are a stunning debut of heft, melody, and enough groove to get our bell bottoms and funky jean jackets moving all night long.
Futuropaco is tight. There’s no space not filled and no forward motion wasted here. Pinkerton is not a stranger to 60s psych, and that essence is still alive and well here, but there’s a more regal feel. “Fantasma Arancione” sounds like a cross between Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad’s Luke Cage S/T, if Luke Cage had taken place in some neo-futuristic Tuscany instead of Harlem. The rhythm section just grabs you and doesn’t let go. “La Tore Cade” sounds like Lalo Schifrin scoring Umberto Lenzi with The Doors. “Bambino Tiranno” simmers in melancholy like Walter Rizzati attempting a counter-culture version of “Adagio in G Minor”. “Seppelire Fascisti” sounds like Queens of the Stone Age on a Goblin kick.
There’s a real sense that you’ve entered into some alternate reality with this record. A place where cobblestone streets lead you down narrow corridors and faint streetlights barely save you from being consumed by late night shadows. A faint buzz works its way into your brain, making solid decision making difficult. It’s like being under the influence of some unknown substance and letting the urge to succumb to it win. Moonlight and unfiltered cigarettes lead the way into the unknown. “Fuoco Palude” is the music that plays as you step into the unknown. Rock and roll meets the mystical as that street leads to your destiny.
Pinkerton really blurs the line when it comes to genres here. 60s Italian film music, psych rock, and baroque pop meld together to form some hybrid genre that grabs you by the brain stem and pulls until you see brightly lit colors. “Peste Rossa” is all groove with tasteful synths laid over top like some kaleidoscope of colors and freakouts. “Ballare Sulla Tua Tomb” is a dainty, tasteful ending to this trip. A sonically dense mix of wah-wah guitar, synthesizer, and an underlying melody that feels like end credit music. Our tour of Italy is ending, but the sonic scars will remain.
Futuropaco will feel like revisiting some elegant dream from long ago. A dream where you drove a silver Fiat through the Italian countryside in search of nothing in-particular. Danger around every corner, an elevated sense of groove and purpose, and a need to strut in fine Italian loafers. Justin Pinkerton as Futuropaco has laid the groundwork for future grooves to come. Gritty, psychedelic, and full of purpose.
7.9 out of 10