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Founded in the mid-Eigthies by L.A. resident axe-man J.P. Cervoni, NOVA REX never surpassed its indie status but managed to release by themselves a bunch of very interesting albums.
Their debut "Blow Me Away" gained cult devotion among Melodic Hard Rock / AOR aficionados, and rightly so. Opening with two decent 'hair metal' tracks in the rocker 'Bitch' and the power ballad 'Think Of Me', the real thing start with song number 3...
'Children Of The Night' is the type of tunes that makes you raise your fist and sing-along all over. The main hook is terrific, and the chorus turns it a prime Melodic Hard Rock anthem. In many ways, it sounds more British AOR (akin After Hours or Peroux) than American, with all 'that' classic vibe.
The previous track worth the album alone, but Nova Rex delivers another two gems in a row: the pumping midtempo AOR of 'Can't Find Love' (recalling masters Le Mans) is to die for, while 'Alone Tonight' is pure gold - the highly layered harmony vocals, the sharp guitars, and the killer chorus gives you a hint what '80s AOR is all about.
The album is completed with the nice acoustic number 'Black 'N' Blues', and closer title track 'Blow Me Away', a furious melodic hard rocker full of hot blood.
Nova Rex released their second effort "Ain't Easy Being Cheesy" two years after, with new vocalist and a more rocking approach. The anthemic 'Don't Give Up', the stadium-designed 'Rock n' Roll', and the ballad 'I Luv You' are among the best cuts here, plus a re-recorded version of 'Alone Tonight'.
Nova Rex was one of the best indie American bands out there during the early Nineties, and while their melodic hard rock sound was not the most original, when they decided to mix it with AOR flavors the results were delicious.
The aforementioned 3 tracks are definitely must-haves to any serious fan of the genre.
Blow Me Away (1992)
1 - Bitch
2 - Think Of Me
3 - Children Of The Night
4 - Can't Find Love
5 - Alone Tonight
6 - Black 'N' Blues
7 - Blow Me Away
Abbie Stancato - lead vocals
J.P. Cervoni - lead and rhythm guitars
Kenny Wilkerson - bass
Tim Berry - drums
Tony Artino - guitars in 7, guitar solo in 3
Ain't Easy Being Cheesy (1994)
1 - Think Of Me
2 - Don't Give Up
3 - Bitch
4 - I Luv You
5 - Rock n' Roll (part 1)
6 - Love Sucks
7 - Alone Tonight
8 - JP Blues
9 - I Just Wanna Rock
Derek Madison - lead vocals
J.P. Cervoni - guitars, keyboards
Kenny Wilkerson - bass
John Plantero - drums
Jamie Hurt - add. keyboards
NOVA REX - Blow Me Away / Ain't Easy Being Cheesy