With the popularity of pop/punk in the mainstream market with acts like Blink182, Simple Plan, Sum 41, Good Charlotte, and others, it isn't a surprise that Christian alternatives have begun to spring up like Hawk Nelson, Olivia The Band, FM Static and now, straight from Phoenix, Arizona, Stellar Kart.
With music drawing heavy influences from artists like Relient K and Blink182, Stellar Kart has the strength to carry the pop/punk torch into the Christian industry, but doesn't entirely add anything new to the genre. That essentially isn't really a problem because Stellar Kart does the style very well. The guys are also able to mix up the styles a bit to even include a stripped-down worship original entitled "A Love Song." Vocally, Adam Agee's work better at times than others. While a more commanding vocal presence or passionate delivery of the lyrics would strengthen many of the songs, Agee's performance is often still sufficient enough. Agee's vocals work best when singing on the ballad "Love Song" but can't quite carry the cover of Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer."
All Gas. No Brake. is an appropriately titled, fast-paced effort. Clocking in at just barely over a half hour with eleven tracks, the album is paced well, but does contain a few bumps along the road. But tracks like the rock-fueled "Gone Fishin'" and the delicate "Finish Last" bring the album to a strong close. Christian themes run throughout the record but "Finish Last" drives home the valuable message of coming in last place in the eyes of the world.
Stellar Kart's All Gas. No Brake. isn't a perfect debut, but it possesses enough momentum to make it worth checking out. Pop-punk fans alike should find plenty to like about Stellar Kart.- Review date: 2/13/05, written by John DiBiase
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