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The Independent Critic

The Various Members of the band "Nova Rex"
Dean Robinson
Est. 70 Mins.
Quantum Records

 "Nova Rex" Review 
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Formed right around 1985 in Canada, Nova Rex was a hair-metal band extraordinaire when hair bands were all the rage and their gloriously glam ways enamored audiences and packed the houses from coast-to-coast. With an MCA Records deal and a killer live show, the band recorded and toured and built up strong audience bases in Hollywood, Florida and right in my own hometown of Indianapolis. Unfortunately, about the time the band was finding its perfect mix of personnel the Seattle scene was starting to explode and glam gave way to grunge bands like Nirvana and others.

Nova Rex - Ain't Easy Being Cheesy is a hair-metal rockumentary directed by Dean Robinson with delightful, and often hilarious, cooperation from band members including the film's co-producer, Kenny Wilkerson. An abundance of interviews, performance footage and the music of Nova Rex helps to keep this quick-paced 70-minute documentary moving right along with its terrific mix of humor, outlandishness and even a touch of heart as band member's reflect on the craziness of their past.

Those who were around the mid-to-late 80's Indianapolis music scene will undoubtedly remember Nova Rex, a regular at local clubs with at least 2-3 of them woven into the film's performance footage. Years removed from the height of their hair-band days, it's clear that Wilkerson and just about everyone else involved with this project are clearly aware of the outlandishness of their behavior back in the days and, as well, of the abundant cheesiness of it all. Nova Rex celebrates that cheesiness with a sort of tongue-in-cheek approach to film making that suits the entire thing absolutely perfectly and makes the film a hilarious and entertaining view.

In addition to the band's familiarity to Indianapolis fans, local celebrities dot the scene throughout this Quantum Records DVD release. The DVD comes as Nova Rex has gained some interest recently following the release of their greatest hits CD called "Then & Now," which you can pick up by clicking on The Independent Critic's Amazon banner to the right (or on Itunes). This renewed interest in the band comes as no surprise, and it's likely no surprise that Nova Rex occasionally feels like a bit more of a cinematic version of a VH-1 "Where Are They Now?" episode.

For the record, I love the "Where Are They Now?" episodes.

Had all of this been made with too much reverence, Nova Rex likely would have been pretentious and boring as hell. It's not. Kudos to Dean Robinson for nailing exactly the right tone for the film and for capturing both the cheesiness of the scene and the true to life talent of the band. Nova Rex may have been cheesy, excessive and crazy, but these guys could absolutely rock.

To pick up your copy of the just hitting DVD Nova Rex, visit the film's Quantum Records website and, of course, don't forget to pick up the band's greatest hits CD, Then & Now. The band can also be found on both Facebook and Myspace.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic 

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