Skeletal Lamping is definitive proof that Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes has taken a dive off the deep end. The Athens, Ga. band takes its brand of freaky, psychedelic folk and infuses it with a sexual energy more reminiscent of the Scissors Sisters than its previous efforts.

Building on the hypersexual “Georgie Fruit” persona he developed on the second half of Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, Barnes pushes Of Montreal into territory that even David Bowie would have thought twice about jumping into at the height of his Ziggy Stardust androgyny.

With Skeletal Lamping, Barnes has re-imagined Of Montreal as a hybrid between the Fiery Furnaces, the Mars Volta and some of the more deviant aspects of Lou Reed. Contrasted with the usually less-freaky world of indie rock — Barnes cooing, “We can do it soft cold if you want / But you should know that I go both ways” with a typical Jenny Lewis lyric, maybe about how her love has left her and you get something of an idea. This new Barnes, through his alter ego, can basically tear down the walls of the monastery and go wildly bounding through the fields of musical possibility.

Whether or not he does it well is another matter: Too often, the songs lack any sort of cohesive structure at all. The majority of Skeletal Lamping feels like a loosely pasted together pastiche that calls to mind the less twisted bits of Naked Lunch, in terms of in-your-face sexuality and sheer randomness.

The album actually starts off pleasantly enough. “Nonpareil of Favor” and “Wicked Wisdom” are somewhat proggy but are ultimately hummable in a twisted sort of way and they seem to be slightly more palatable than the rest of the album, if only because Fruit hasn’t fully been developed as a persona and we’re more curious about what he’s going to say next than outright terrified, which would not be an unfair way to characterize the remainder of Skeletal Lamping.

The listening experience of Skeletal Lamping basically feels something like listening to a shemale hooker relating her (his?) life story to you through song after you take maybe a little too much acid and ecstasy.

For all of its faults (and there are quite a few, some of which make the album almost unlistenably exhausting), Skeletal Lamping is at least an interesting effort. Fruit may scare the listener to within an inch of his life and Barnes might have such sonic A.D.D. as to make the album seem totally schizophrenic at times, but goddamn if it isn’t one hell of a ride.