From the immortal songs "Welcome to the Working Week" and "Less Than Zero" from his debut album My Aim Is True, to last year's release Imperial Bedroom, Elvis Costello has had one of the most consistent careers recently as a songwriter.
Of his eight albums available in Australia, only one disappoints — his 1981 country standards.
Elvis Costello's latest release is Punch The Clock, a return to the style on Trust and Armed Forces, Although it's a change from the poppy musical punch of "Oliver's Army" and certain Get Happy tracks, lyrically it contains some of his strongest material.
Costello is again writing with sarcasm about everything from war to himself, and The Attractions also appear to be playing with a new-found enthusiasm.
Side one includes the single "Every Day I Write The Book," "Love Went Mad," and "Shipbuilding," and a most poignant anti-war song that typifies Costello's astute songwriting.
Side two's highlights are an old single, "Pills and Soap," and "Mouth Almighty." No doubt the song stems from his now legendary jibes about Ray Charles.