HELTA SKELTA: Beyond the Black Stump: LP

Helta Skelta are the love child of Cause Commotion and Thee Homosexuals. It’s a raw and minimalist style where the vocals are delivered in a matter-of-fact way, the guitar sounds like it was recorded in a basement, and the drums keep the beat simple. Very utilitarian. Kind of art damaged, but still rock’n’roll to their very core. I’m saying none of this as an insult, but instead as a list of compliments. This album is pretty damn good, something that becomes immediately apparent during the opening instrumental title track. Tempos vary throughout, from the hyper “Done,” to the lurking swagger of “Zulu,” to the driving tempo of “Cosh Boy.” Every song on here is a keeper, and they all have their own character that complements the other. The guitar solos in “Reds” and “Done” are pretty cooking and very effective in sending those songs into the stratosphere. They did save the best song for last; “Must Go Wrong” starts off pretty unassuming with a scratchy guitar then quickly gets down to business once all the other instruments come crashing in. It’s urgent and catchy all at once, as well as a little more layered than the other songs. 

 –M.Avrg (Deranged)