Vulcan Freedom Fighters -- Stardate Unknown (Alien Communication)

It's difficult to describe this project without making it sound like a novelty. Put simply, VFF makes instrumental Rock music with copious amounts of dialogue from the original Star Trek series.

 
VULCAN FREEDOM FIGHTERS — STARDATE UNKNOWN



It's difficult to describe this project without making it sound like a novelty. Put simply, VFF makes instrumental Rock music with copious amounts of dialogue from the original Star Trek series. As hopelessly nerdy as that sounds, the music on Stardate Unknown places it light years beyond the throwaway gimmick that even the best description might imply. The quotes interplay with the tempo and intensity of the songs, arranged with such brilliance that even non-Trekkies would have a hard time not enjoying it. The dialogue is selected so that each song is an ode to the episode it was borrowed from, often with narrative continuity. Like the show, the songs are a compelling mix of action, suspense and innuendo, providing a shot of nostalgia for anyone who remembers the original series. Musically, it ranges from heavy Stoner Rock to more ambient and Techno sounds with lots of overlap. Atop a mix of live and sampled drums, reverberating bass and chiming guitar provide a constant organic counterpoint to the electronic percussion and keys. The tunes are also sprinkled liberally with sound effects from the show: tricorder chirps, phaser blasts and that unmistakable whoosh of the Enterprise's automatic doors. Aside from outstanding composition and performance, the other aspect that makes Stardate Unknown so surprisingly tasteful is reverence for the source material. Let's just hope the next album isn't full of quotes from The Next Generation. (Ezra Waller) Grade: A

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