Helta Skelta is the newest face of Australian punk. While the group already has an album and a few singles under their belt, Beyond the Black Stump takes their sound in unexpected directions. This is the record people have been waiting for them to write—it’s hands-down their strongest batch of songs, and the recording does them complete justice. Various elements have always been there, swirling in the soup of varied influences and ideas these guys soak in, but Beyond the Black Stump smacks of a band getting its ducks in a row. In particular, frontman Jon Worpole’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.