GNR (acronym for Grupo Novo Rock) is a Portuguese pop rock band, formed in Porto, in 1980, by Alexandre Soares (vocals and guitar), Vitor Rua (guitar) and Tóli César Machado (drums).
Despite the fact that the group emerged with the “Portuguese rock boom”, the members consider that they were on the sidelines of the phenomenon, as they broke barriers and created a new sound in Portugal. Currently the band consists of Tóli César Machado (guitar, keys and accordion), Jorge Romão (bass) and Rui Reininho (vocals).
The musical style was classified at the beginning of his career as post-punk, evident in the singles “Portugal na CEE” and “Sê Um GNR”, both from 1981, in which they had a broadly provocative orientation and had a good sales volume.
With the entry of Rui Reininho, in 1981, the writing of the songs began to contain a refined humor and sarcasm, complemented by ingeniously outlandish compositions, which became the band’s hallmark.
Later, they explored aspects of experimental music and avant-garde pop on their first album, Independança (1982), which resulted in a failure in sales but with wide acclaim from music critics. After some changes within the line-up, they followed a trend, mostly pop rock, the result of the myrific and distinguished musical creation of Tóli César Machado, with emphasis on the works Psicopátria and Valsa dos Detectives from 1986 and 1989, respectively, which won silver, with sales of over 15 thousand units.
In the album In Vivo (1990) they surpassed 60 m1992) which reached the peak of their career, earning four platinum discs and the feat of being the first Portuguese band to perform concerts that filled copies sold, obtaining platinum, but it was with Rock in Rio Douro (two football stadiums – Estádio José Alvalade (1992) and Estádio das Antas (1993) – among other memorable concerts at the Coliseus in Lisbon and Porto, Theatro Circo, Pavilhão Atlântico and Casa da Música. Portugal in the EEC”, “Dunas”, “Efectivamente”, “Video Maria”, “Morte Ao Sol”, “Sangue Oculto”, “Pronuncia Do Norte” and “+ Vale Nunca”, among others, included in the usual repertoire of concerts.
Also important milestones are the participation in events of musical relevance, such as Rock in Rio – Lisbon 2006, or Super Bock Super Rock, in 2016, as well as the distinction, on several occasions, as the “best national pop rock band”. In 2005, they obtained due recognition for the work of decades, when they were awarded the “Medalha de Mérito Cultural”, from the President of the Portuguese Republic Jorge Sampaio and in 2016 they received the “Medalha de Honra da SPA” from the Portuguese Society of Authors.
The group carried out several social awareness actions and dedicated itself to philanthropic causes. In 2014 they became discographically independent with the creation of their own label and, in 2015, the band’s official biography was published.