Expect the Impossible (Bonus Video Version)
A couple of decades ago, youth ministry made common cause with punk rock. Stellar Kart is among the myriads of groups since then to mix cheeky vocals and careening rhythms with God-centered, teen-friendly lyrics. Expect the Impossible is straight forward Christian punk, full of heartfelt testimony delivered with nervous gusto. Producer Ian Eskelin (a veteran of the similar-sounding All Star United) is on hand to help to tighten up the foursome’s familiar sound. The bratty-yet-wholesome image that Stellar Kart established on previous albums is present in “Innocent,” “I Give Up,” and “Sunshine.” Singer Adam Agee preaches the Word (“Jesus Loves You”) and pines for true love (“The Right One”) with the same jittery edge. “Pray,” the album’s ballad showpiece, erupts into a string-laden chorus in the manner of a mid-‘90s Goo-Goo Dolls hit. Some fresh arrangement twists — the trumpeting synthesizer on “Eyes,” the marching tempo on “Letters” — remove the album from the mosh pit at times. Fundamentally, though, Stellar Kart is mostly refining rather than innovating on Expect the Impossible. For those who like a concentrated blast of faith-based energy, this may be more than enough.