Very controversy album this one. There are plenty of absolute crackers, but a fair amount of filler Overall though it's his best offering in my opinion.
This was Clarke's final album, and some care had been taken with the instrumental backing, attempting to link it up with the often manic poetry.
In some places it works a treat, that is notably on 'Midnight Shift', a hard-hitting homily on prostitution with the usual classic JCC one-liners; 'he's got to put his face about, it's like a long abandoned baseball boot, with the tongue hanging out.'
Other highlights include 'The Face Behind the Scream', a notably uncomplimentary critique of the plastic surgery business; 'this case appears to be urgent, kindly pull the screens', and 'The New Assassin' about a female hitman.
'I Travel in Biscuits' is every bit as funny as the title suggests; 'munch-ity-munch they last you a lunchtime' and is about a luckless travelling salesman.
'The Day The World Stood Still' may well have the odd narcotic inspiration, but is good nonetheless, while 'Drive She Said' is an absolute gem, a tale about Mr.Average being hijacked in his car by an insane teenage girl, possessed of a 'natty dread with a borstal crop.' 'Up my sleeve she stuck me on a spike, said you can leave whenever I like.' The backing is suitably quirky.
Also great is the manic lost single 'The Day My Pad Went Mad', but on the downside there's the dull 'Night People' (also a single, I mean what???), the corny 'A Heart Disease Called Love' and the not-very-good but OK-ish 'Ghost of Al Capone'.
John Cooper Clarke - Zip Style Method - (UK 1982 Punk-Poetry)