WARP 11

"Borgasm" (Stargate 69 Music; 2011)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Warp 11 tries something a little different this time out, exchanging their bawdy Star Trek parodies with a real Star Trek rock opera. The result is the epic "Borgasm," a concept album that plays like a (musical) episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

"Borgasm" tells a complete story of a Borg invasion, from start to finish, in surprising detail, with explosive action, kinky sex and characters who are jaw-droppingly complex. Even the music seems a notch above the norm for this outstanding band, and that's no small feat, considering their already impressive catalog.

Warp 11 plays "Borgasm" a lot more seriously than previous albums, and the story flows effortlessly from one chapter to the next. The band's trademark humor is still here, thankfully, only in smaller portions. (As when a Starfleet office is told to hold down the fort, even though it's a suicide mission, and he declares "Fuck the Federation, I'm out of here!")

Of course, you may have to be a Star Trek geek (as I admittedly am) to really enjoy the entirety of "Borgasm," but fans just discovering the band, and avoiding them for their "novelty act" appearance, could do worse than this incredibly well-written and -performed album.

Warp 11: Captain Karl Miller; Jeff "Number One" Merlino; Chief Engineer Brian Moore; Chief Science Officer Kiki Stockhammer.

For more information, check out http://www.warp11.com

"It's Dead, Jim" (Reboot Music; 2007)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Warp 11 deliver another high quality CD based in the "Star Trek" universe. This time around, the name of the CD is "Itís Dead, Jim." Now, every Trekkie worth their weight in latnum knows what that title refers to.

Warp 11 showcase their unique talent of making peppy, punkish music based solely on the Star Trek universe. It's not easy taking something as beloved as "Star Trek" and turning into decent rock'n'roll, but this band has a unique talent for doing just that. 

As the title implies, "It's Dead, Jim" is often about the fact that ... at the moment ... there is no new "Star Trek" on television, not even an animated series (although a new "Trek" film by J.J. Abrahms is in the works). As with previous Warp 11 CDs, "It's Dead, Jim" may be tongue-in-cheek and delightfully irreverent but the band is for real. They deliver a strong musical experience with high quality aspects all around: production, musicianship and style. 

The "explicit lyrics" label on the cover is for a good reason. With song titles like "Belt Buckle Tractor Beam," this CD is definitely aimed at older "Star Trek" fans. 

With "It's Dead, Jim," Warp 11 continue to spoof "Star Trek" with undeniable musical talent, hysterically clever lyrics and a joyously respectful irreverence. There's no other band quite like them.

For more information, check out http://www.warp11.com

"Boldly Go Down on Me" (Reboot Music; 2005)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

You don't have to be a Star Trek fan to enjoy the vibrant, edgy rock'n'roll of Warp 11's "Boldly Go Down on Me," but -- if you are -- it will certainly enhance the listening experience.

While perhaps not as completely successful as the band's previous release ("Red Alert," reviewed below), "Boldly Go ..." is a fourteen track collection of poppy rock songs that focus fully on the world of Gene Roddenberry's "Star Trek." Just a quick glance at the song titles will tell you that ... as well as tell you that the band's tongue is firmly planted in cheek. The CD's title is evidence enough, but add "Captain Caught Me on the Holodeck," "She Make It So" or "Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill Klingons" and the album's theme is clearly obvious.

Most of the songs are hilariously-lyricked pop rockers, my favorite being "Set Your Phaser to Fuck." "A Song for People Who Never Watch Star Trek" comically attempts to explain the entire Trek phenomenon while "Rage Against the Federation" satirizes not only "Star Trek" but Rage Against the Machine" as well. The lyrics here are a little more "in-joke" than the previous CD, meaning that Trek fans will get some of the jokes that others may not. That probably won't lessen non-fans enjoyment of the CD, however, since -- even when they're not being funny -- Warp 11 knows how to rock extremely well.

Warp 11 is a novelty band, no question about it. But they're that rare novelty band that not only pushes the envelope of their particular genre, they crossover into just plain good rock'n'roll. 

Warp 11: Captain Karl Miller - drums, bass; Chief Medical Officer Jeff Hewitt - vocals, drums; Chief Engineer Brian Moore - vocals, guitars; Chief Science Officer Kiki Stockhammer - vocals, keyboards.

For more information, check out http://www.warp11.com

"Red Alert" (Reboot Music; 2002)

Reviewed by James DeRuvo

When I first got wind of Warp 11, I thought - oh dear god, Trekkies who think they can be "golden gods of rock."

But, in reality, it's just the opposite ... Warp 11 are golden gods of rock who think they can be Trekkies! 

And they're the real deal.

Warp 11 sounds like the band you'd get if you smashed together the raw energy of Green Day, the fresh wit of Weezer and the classic tradition of AC/DC. Listeners will instantly pick up these influences amongst the self-deprecating humor of the band's Trek-oriented lyrics.

From their first radio hit, "Everything I Do, I Do for William Shatner," to the hard-driving title cut to the erotic "Seven of Mine" and (my personal favorite) "Old Country Doctor (The Ballad of Bones)," Warp 11 makes social commentary on the impacts of media franchises on our psyche while we bang our heads to the polished hardrock/punk guitar licks.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Gene Roddenberry faithful don't see the humor. Trek fans just take the Trek franchise way too seriously. This came true to the band when they had a booth at a convention and only sold 17 CDs, but got a lion's share of dirty looks.

However, they also found kindred spirits in a bunch of Klingons who came by and serenaded them with Klingon drinking songs. Band member Karl Miller says the Klingons rocked their world that day: "Trust us, you haven't lived until you've had a hummer from a chick dressed as a Klingon!" The band is the first to admit that they formed Warp 11 to get the chicks. But what they didn't count on was how hot devoted Warp 11 groupies can look in classic short-skirted Yeoman outfits!

Warp 11's music is crisp, tight and finely polished. The lyrics are satirically absurd, but that's half the fun. Perhaps more importantly, Red Alert have provided an important service: As long as they're on the bill, it's not quite so geeky to show up at a Star Trek convention.

MAKE IT SO!

Warp 11: Karl Miller, Jeff Hewitt, and Brian Moore.

For more information, check out http://www.warp11.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2012 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08 Oct 2017 14:52:21 -0400.