Thursday 19 January 2012

MJ Hibbett & The Validators - Dinosaur Planet

Album review by KevW

This article also appears on

The music world is permanently full of questions. Why is there so little guitar music in the charts? Do the current generation of musicians have anything of merit to say? Who the hell is still buying the Adele album? Why has no one created a War Of The Worlds style indiepop musical narrative about giant space dinosaurs invading Norwich? While the rest of the media scratch their heads pondering the first three, the rest of us can sleep a little better knowing that MJ Hibbett & The Validators are here to blast through the mundane with this bonkers and inventive 'rock opera' concept album.

'Dinosaur Planet' is a notion that began several years ago and through tweaking, reinvention and a cast of thousands throwing ideas into the melting pot, the recorded version is completed, and it's done in some style. As if this oddball project wasn't mad enough already, it's peppered with laugh-out-loud moments and genuinely interesting (not to mention barking mad) plot twists. Without giving too much of the story away, these murderous beasts spread west from Norwich, wreaking havoc on the country and killing the masses, who correctly note "it's a pretty bloody awesome way to die!". While the country's team of top scientists look for a way to defeat the marching monsters (at the Battle Of Peterborough) the mainstream media is more concerned with the disruption to the East Coast Mainline.

The acting is unlikely to win any Oscars, but clearly, this is hardy Shawshank Redemption and its ramshackle nature only adds to its charm. "When fighting Tyrannosaurus nuclear, Stegosaurus with bazooka the best we could have hoped for was a draw". This delightfully madcap and unmistakeably British comic storyline is just one reason to love this album, the songs, all short and sweet, are not here to pad things out, there are some wonderful witticisms and a lovely variety of styles and melodies that blend in perfectly as part of this herculean report, the title track in particular is a joy. Plus it's always handy to know that dinosaurs talk like pirates and can be defeated using spark plugs, right? 'Dinosaur Planet' is unlikely to be an album that you'll have stuck on repeat for the rest of the year, although it's without doubt good enough to demand repeat listens and will never fail to raise a smile. A heroic effort.

Theme From Dinosaur Planet (single mix) by MJ Hibbett

MJ Hibbett & The Validators' website

Buy the album

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