Even by just listening to a selection of songs by M.J. Hibbett & The Validators,
you realise we're in the realm of songs that speak to everyman - to students, to eternal students,
to the nostalgic and to those who've experience unrequited love, or perhaps that kind that would be
returned were it not for fate getting in the damn way. Make sure you're reading the lyrics supplied
on the sleeve while listening to this album to get the full benefit of it too.
The first track I ever heard, Hey Hey 16K, had it all for any child of the 80s who was into
home computing, trying to get games to work on them when loading them in (I was in awe of the line,
"We hope not to witness the terror... of 'R:Tape Loading Error'") , as well as realising that
many of the games available today keep sacrificing playability for "looking nice". It's proof indeed
that a lot more thought had to be made with the tiny amount of space available to programmers, given
that there's more memory used up in a Windows desktop icon than there was in the entire arcade game of
Defender. After reading this review,
see the video for this track here
and if it doesn't bring memories flooding back, you're not human. I'm 100% convinced that if this
was ever released as a single, it'd make No.1 in an instant, given the right backing.
Back to the start of the album, and The Black Hair and Glasses Brigade champions the geeks
and asks the world not to look down on 80s icons like Adrian Mole and Roland Browning, while Payday
is the Best Day of All points out what we'd all like to do on one certain day each month, rather
than put it away for the future and how "you can't take a TESSA to the grave", as well as
an opinion about the Co-Op Bank I'd better not reprint here, although I'd apply the same to the heads
of certain TV stations...
Born With the Century is a fantastic way of summarising 100 years of a man's life and the poignant
events into 4½ minutes, running in parallel with the years of the 20th Century, and how the end
of life cannot hope to mirror the positive aspects that have happened earlier, and Say It With Words
talks to everyone who's ever wanted to get across their feelings of unrequited love face-to-face but
often have to settle for romantic gestures that won't have the same impact. And, on a similar note,
Where Do All The Women Go To? certainly poses the right question for any bloke that's single.
My friends and I have often wondered where all the fit ones go to outside of the summer months, that's
Carol and the Mandolin takes a disturbing turn from anything else on this album as it deals
with the subject of domestic violence, while Would If I Could briefly touches on the feelings
experienced when you're in a long-term relationship that's going nowhere and how being stuck in a rut
just isn't the answer. When we get to the final track, you'll find that Wings of Fire could
serve so well as a short, but heartfelt funeral anthem.
Don't go thinking that's all there is, as the final track technically lasts 10 minutes, although after
Wings of Fire, there's a brief reprise of Payday is the Best Day, and then the last
two minutes bring something far more raucous, the forthright and uncompromising, but amusing,
Bands From London Are Shit.
Check out the website for more info about M.J. Hibbett & The Validators as well as MP3 tracks
for a couple of other class tracks, The Perfect Love Song and We'll See What We Can Do.