Looking on the bright side of life
Some bands are so achingly cool that you get the impression that it may not be fun to be them. Some acts take it too far and almost give the impression that they are too studied to laugh or smile and you have to wonder if they really enjoy what they do? A lot of them make some fantastic music which goes a long way to make up for it but you wonder what they get personally from it, apart from money, kudos and sycophantic fans who hang on their every word. Oh right.... Anyways, one band who certainly can't be classed as being cool or afraid to laugh are MJ Hibbett & The Validators who try to put the fun back into functional indie pop.
Sadly for the band, this reviewer much prefers the music from studied cool bands compared to the cheesy and thumbs aloft whacky tunes that the more relaxed characters seem to release.
Lyrics about having conversations about “Linux for PCs” or “watching Take That at the Brits” will easily appeal to many folk but it is fair to say that it is a Marmite situation, with people either loving it or hating it. To paraphrase a joke that was heard on ‘Mock The Week’, have you ever noticed that the Marmite reference is made about things that are hated by the person making the comparison? It is not a positive comparison to make about something, for example, this writer thinks Sienna Miller is brilliant but realises that many people don’t take to her. However, there is not a chance that Sienna Miller would be compared to the yeast extract by this writer....so there you go. That should be the sort of bizarre diversion that fans of the band will appreciate and perhaps show how clever and quirky this review is. The thing is though, it doesn’t, it probably makes the writer come across as a wanker, and getting back on point, as there is a point, that's exactly what the band comes across as. They’re all probably great guys just wanting to make a living and have some fun but their cheesy and knowing pop grates so much if you are not a fan.
The band has quite happily taken from the playground and the traditional making people immediately think they have a kinship with the bands. It’s a very clever tactic and will appeal to a lot of folk but it’s not really an indication of the talent of the band but it does indicate they know how to connect with a fanbase. This is where MJ Hibbett works really well and is probably the main reason they split opinions so much. This comes from the opening track ‘Being Happy Doesn’t Make You Stupid’, the bands plea for people to lighten up and stop worrying about how you are viewed. Technically, people who smile all the time shouldn’t really be trusted so this is one piece of advice that should be swerved and the rest of the album continues in the same vein.
They deserve a point or two for chastising women who believe that all men are bastards but then again, there is an acceptance that all women love bastards so the band are manfully trying their best in a world that probably stands against them. And that’s a good overview for the act themselves. There is no doubt there is a small but fanatical fan base for the act and if they can keep appealing to them whilst maybe picking up an extra fan or two along the way, they’ll do just fine.
Sorry guys, nothing personal but its all just a bit too smiley and thumbs up craziness and cleverness to truly like.