Judging by the near-incomprehensible liner notes in the debut release from his new Satellite Party project, Perry Farrell fancies himself an intergalactic prophet. The music on Ultra Payloaded sounds more like the work of a hippie magpie with a penchant for chaos and excess.
The good news: It's not the generic and obsequiously glammy rock that anyone who saw Satellite Party's lame live set in Austin might assume. The initial section of Ultra Payloaded does lean toward mid-'90s alt-rock, heavy on the cock-rocking riffage of Extreme's Nuno Bettencourt and vocals reminiscent of Moist's glory days.
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But somewhere around string-saturated power ballad "Awesome," things fan out in all directions. You imagine Farrell saying, "Look! It's a Bee Gees sample! Hey—check out this rad space-age funk track...let's pretend we're Jamiroquai!" It's all a bit of a muddle, congealing in the absurd closer "Woman in the Window," a Doors cover on which Jim Morrison's vocals are holographically suspended over sing-songy symphonic lounge instrumentation. That's weird, and meantime Bettencourt has abandoned the tour, claiming he doesn't "feel comfortable." But still, it's Perry Farrell!