Somewhere, right now, MTV darlings Sparks the Rescue are preparing mentally for what promises to be a huge summer. The sunny-sheen, emo-pop outfit is ready to drop, in the heart of May, its latest LP, “Worst Thing I’ve Been Cursed With,” and give their hungry, passion-ridden fans some food for the days long in light.

Although these tracks can cross-pollinate into pure pop, STR knows when and how to snarl with raw skate-park angst. It’s this snapshot of a young band — one foot in shameless growing up, the other in wanting to be grown — that’s most intriguing about this wistful new release.

The potential singles on this record come like haymakers to the dome. “High and Hazy” blasts onto the scene with razor guitar harmonies and Nathan Spencer’s always pummeling drums. The trip-step backbeat “The Weirdest Way” is vocalist Alex Roy at his hollering best over a verse the Cure might write.

Later, “Holiday” comes on at times as a country song, closing with crescendoing horns and harmonies. (It actually plays much better than its chirpy Vampire Weekend counterpart.) And who is it on “Better Side of Me” other than guest spitter, the Mainesnoop, Spizzy Spose? Pretty fun to hear these two Portland forces team up and go at it together.

The band has a harder time on the penultimate smolderer “How to Make a Heart Hollow.” It’s not that Roy’s voice isn’t sweet enough, it’s that the band itself sounds much less comfortable in the grinding verse/chorus of what’s essentially a late-’90s rock ballad.

Sparks the Rescue is better served pumping up the party, which, thankfully, is exactly what most of “Worst Thing” was so well designed to do.

Mike Olcott is a freelance writer who lives in Portland and Boston.