We Can't Stand Sitting Down
How poppy does a pop-punk band have to get before you drop the "punk" designation altogether and start calling them something else? And what if, despite a complete lack of aggro attitude, they're still so speedy and crunchy that the word "pop" alone doesn't really work, and the term "power pop" makes you think inappropriately of middle-aged men with shag haircuts? Maybe this is speed-pop, then, or something like that. Call the music what you will; what matters is that Stellar Kart serves up candy-coated hooks, sweet harmonies and satisfyingly crunchy guitars at roughly the speed of a well-tuned Porsche, and anyone who doesn't have a constitutional intolerance for expressions of Christian faith is likely to find the band's sophomore effort pretty much irresistible. Of this album's 12 songs (there's a hidden 13th track as well, a not-particularly-memorable remix of "Hold On"), there's an indication that more than half can be described as "a bracing blast of speed-pop hookiness," with some ("I'm Pretty Good," "Procrastinating") being especially bracing and speedy. When they take it down a little bit they deliver praise anthems ("Angels in Chorus") and something that comes perilously close to being a pop-punk polka ("Always Waiting"). And, as always, when they start trying to actually write in the voice of God ("Hold On") things get just a bit creepy and uncomfortable. Skip over track five, though, and you've got a solid half hour of pure pop bliss. Highly recommended.