Helta Skelta "Beyond The Black Stump" LP
Side A: Beyond The Black Stump, Specialist Subject, Want You, 55MM, Modern Lover, Zulu
Side B: Island, Reds, Hotel, 'Done, Cosh Boy, Must Go Wrong
Helta Skelta is the newest face of Australian punk - there I said it. Granted they already have an album and a few singles under their belt, Beyond the Black Stump sounds very different from previous outputs and believe this is the album people have been waiting for them to write. It's hands-down their strongest batch of songs, and the recording does them complete justice. The various elements of this album have always been there, swirling in the soup of varied influences and ideas these guys soak in, but this album smacks of a band getting its ducks in a row. In particular, Jon's vocals have mellowed from an earlier, more aggressive hardcore delivery into a brilliantly snarky, deadpan, sardonic drawl that draws easy comparison to EDDIE CURRENT SUPPRESSION RING or X. The guitars are tight, choppy and bright, the bass and drums pin the beat down with straightforward but rock-solid rhythms.