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THE NOVA HAWKS – REDEMPTION – Review

Genre: ROCK/BLUES

Released by: Frontiers

Release date: 12th February 2021 – OUT NOW!

Line up:

Heather Leoni – Vocals,

Rex Roulette – Guitars,

 

Track list:

  1. Voodoo
  2. Redemption
  3. Dusty Heart
  4. Witxh
  5. Technicolour
  6. Pills
  7. Run Wild
  8. Locked Inside
  9. Greed or Glory
  10. Love Games

 

Almost four years ago I witnessed Heather Leoni (Gypsy Heart) open for Mason Hill and Inglorious in a packed Islington Assembly hall, I was instantly smitten and utterly blown away by her voice and raved about the (all to brief) performance as my colleague can attest.  I have been eagerly awaiting an album ever since and cue, we have “Redemption” from ‘The Nova Hawks’ – a powerhouse duo featuring Heather Leoni and Rex Roulette, absolutely better late than never and undoubtedly worth the wait…

Singles, ‘Voodoo’ and ‘Redemption’, the first two tracks on “Redemption” preceded the release and generally epitomise the overall feel of this album.

‘Voodoo’, is an upbeat, otherworldly, catchy track.  Lyrically intriguing, musically and vocally superb and strangely hypnotic, its an impressive opener whilst ‘Redemption’ is full of soulful longing, bluesy guitar, emotive lyrics and raw, powerful vocals which build with insidious intensity towards the conclusion of this amazing track.

‘Dusty Heart’ features an interesting kind of overlay vocal technique, with lyrics both sung and spoken at the same time. It produces an effect which is almost ethereal in sound and perfectly compliments the musical versatility of this track.

‘Witxh’ ramps things up with a strong upbeat tempo, echoes of gospel emanate throughout this intense, passion filled rock track, a definite album highlight for me which precedes the notably gentler and effusive, but equally fantastic ‘Technicolour’…

Whilst the first half of this album has a definite Vintage feel, ‘Pills’ moves in a different direction and shakes things up a bit with an altogether more modern sound and lyrics to match, accompanied by fantastic edgy guitar throughout.  I considered at this point if the rest of the tracks would be more of the same but it proves to be a hiatus as the strongly evocative ‘Run Wild’, featuring Hammond organ reverts to a more classic sound thereafter. The sheer intensity of vocals and guitars on ‘Locked Inside’, is musical perfection while finishing track ‘Love Games’ breaks off gently and is infused with a resonance of blues/country elements.

I have listened to this album about 20 times in the past few days, not only for the purpose of reviewing but quite simply because its immensely addictive, a mind blowing combination of poignant, powerful vocals and intense, versatile guitar playing.  It is diverse – to a point but generally speaking, passion fuelled, soulful, bluesy rock is the running theme.

It may have seemed a long time coming but ‘Redemption’ is an exceptional debut and I can’t wait to hear the live version…

Reviewed by Karen Hetherington

Score: 10/10

 

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