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click to enlarge Satellite Party  - Ultra Payloaded  -  -  - Columbia  -  - Sounds like: The perfect post-Jane's Addiction - album -  - Short take: Perry Farrell makes good on his - alt-rock image -  - Remember how disappointed you were nearly 15 years - ago when Perry Farrell unleashed his underwhelming - Porno for Pyros project? Coming off the alternative- - nation-defining work of Jane's Addiction, Farrell fell - short with the Pyros' popish, style-over-substance - approach. It appears as though the enigmatic frontman - finally got it right with his Satellite Party, though. This - features ex-Extreme guitar wizard Nuno Bettencourt, - plus a slew of other notable contributors from the - Lollapalooza founder's all-star Rolodex. The funk-ified - "Only Love, Let's Celebrate" is a jam, while the Flea- - enhanced "Hard Life Easy" features a well-balanced mix - of Farrell howls and guitar bravado. Ultra - Payloaded works because it's solid songwriting - balanced by hooky rock tunes ("Wish Upon a Dogstar") - and trippy-ness ("Mr. Sunshine"). Ultra Payloaded is a major success for Farrell.  John - Benson
  • Satellite Party

    Ultra Payloaded

    Columbia

    Sounds like: The perfect post-Jane's Addiction album

    Short take: Perry Farrell makes good on his alt-rock image

    Remember how disappointed you were nearly 15 years ago when Perry Farrell unleashed his underwhelming Porno for Pyros project? Coming off the alternative- nation-defining work of Jane's Addiction, Farrell fell short with the Pyros' popish, style-over-substance approach. It appears as though the enigmatic frontman finally got it right with his Satellite Party, though. This features ex-Extreme guitar wizard Nuno Bettencourt, plus a slew of other notable contributors from the Lollapalooza founder's all-star Rolodex. The funk-ified "Only Love, Let's Celebrate" is a jam, while the Flea- enhanced "Hard Life Easy" features a well-balanced mix of Farrell howls and guitar bravado. Ultra Payloaded works because it's solid songwriting balanced by hooky rock tunes ("Wish Upon a Dogstar") and trippy-ness ("Mr. Sunshine"). Ultra Payloaded is a major success for Farrell. John Benson

click to enlarge Battles  - Mirrored  -  -  - Warp  -  - Sounds like: A music snob's wet dream -  - Short take: This math rock adds up -  - They say you can only head so far into the woods before - you reach the halfway point and begin heading back out - of the forest. And that's what listening to Battles' - Mirrored is like. As "math rock" advocates, the - New York City-based foursome uses odd-time meters in - its music instead of the standard 4/4. The premise alone - sounds discordant and chaotic. And it is. Take "Atlas," - the first release: It's a thumping, seven-plus-minute - opus of indecipherable lyrics, guitar hooks and bass - lines trying, but frustratingly never able, to keep pace - with the back beat. It's every bit as confusing as it - sounds  and that's the beauty here. Even after a dozen - listens, Mirrored keeps you guessing. You never - quite know where you're at. But you're never wholly lost, - either.  Pete Freedman
  • Battles

    Mirrored

    Warp

    Sounds like: A music snob's wet dream

    Short take: This math rock adds up

    They say you can only head so far into the woods before you reach the halfway point and begin heading back out of the forest. And that's what listening to Battles' Mirrored is like. As "math rock" advocates, the New York City-based foursome uses odd-time meters in its music instead of the standard 4/4. The premise alone sounds discordant and chaotic. And it is. Take "Atlas," the first release: It's a thumping, seven-plus-minute opus of indecipherable lyrics, guitar hooks and bass lines trying, but frustratingly never able, to keep pace with the back beat. It's every bit as confusing as it sounds and that's the beauty here. Even after a dozen listens, Mirrored keeps you guessing. You never quite know where you're at. But you're never wholly lost, either. Pete Freedman

click to enlarge The Used  - Lies for the Liars  -  -  - Reprise  -  - Sounds like: An emo band that can't let go of - 2003 -  - Short take: The Used keeps its sound  but - loses its Warped Tour cred -  - With a rap sheet filled with emo anthems and hardcore - posturing, The Used had a decision to make on its third - album. Should the act continue its post-hardcore journey - or venture off into more mainstream rock? While the - band's peers  most notably My Chemical Romance - took the latter route, this hardened Utah-based act - decided to stick to its guns, with mixed results, on - Lies for the Liars. Anthems-in-waiting include - the fist-raising "The Bird & The Worm" and the comical - "Liar Liar (Burn in Hell)," yet the band seems tortured - about leaving its hardcore past. The oddest track is - "Wake the Dead," which combines the harshness of - screamo with cheesy '80s metal balladry. Lies for the - Liars is made more for the band's cult-like following - than for any mainstream consideration.  John - Benson
  • The Used

    Lies for the Liars

    Reprise

    Sounds like: An emo band that can't let go of 2003

    Short take: The Used keeps its sound but loses its Warped Tour cred

    With a rap sheet filled with emo anthems and hardcore posturing, The Used had a decision to make on its third album. Should the act continue its post-hardcore journey or venture off into more mainstream rock? While the band's peers most notably My Chemical Romance took the latter route, this hardened Utah-based act decided to stick to its guns, with mixed results, on Lies for the Liars. Anthems-in-waiting include the fist-raising "The Bird & The Worm" and the comical "Liar Liar (Burn in Hell)," yet the band seems tortured about leaving its hardcore past. The oddest track is "Wake the Dead," which combines the harshness of screamo with cheesy '80s metal balladry. Lies for the Liars is made more for the band's cult-like following than for any mainstream consideration. John Benson

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