Much like Perry Farrell's summer music festival Lollapalooza, his latest project, Satellite Party, brings together elements of a neo-funk act, a dance-rock troupe, and an orchestral pop band, and lets them all run wild. Satellite Party's long-incubating debut, Ultra Payloaded, assembles a score of A-list collaborators to imagine the results of that musical mating, but the results are mostly mixed.
He hits a sweet spot early on with "Only Love, Let's Celebrate," a wah-heavy party-starter that shares a spirit, if not a soul, with vintage Parliament Funkadelic. But soon, Farrell's insistence on giving in to his every musical indulgence grows disorientating, as he churns out a string of messy tracks like "Insanity Rains," which is caught somewhere between rockabilly tune and acid-rock jam, and "Awesome," an over-the-top ballad marred by its haughty string section.
While Farrell's desire to switch things up is admirable, listening to him prance through so many different genres ultimately recalls the least enjoyable moment of a summer festival—the point where listeners realize that they've been unrelentingly bombarded with so many different sounds that they just want to go somewhere quiet. But that's Payloaded's fatal flaw: There's no chill-out tent to retreat to.