Brian Lisik & Hard Legs – Nu Wreckard
This music is from Akron, Ohio distilled & bottled remarkably well by Brian Lisik’s ghosts of his musical past. Quite a good concept for a musician to undertake. Short & sweet too as the set only showcases 7 songs that are brief, snotty, irreverent & smart (Lisik’s PR words not mine). Nonetheless, the effort does have its energy & retro rock n’ roll cohesiveness. At times, it reminds me of the better songs by The Dictators.
There’s aggression but there’s melody, there’s a rawness but there’s a sensibility & it all comes together with that pop-aesthetic that the late Alex Chilton (The Box Tops & Big Star) embraced, that an independent band The Wild Stares tried their best to capture (“Piece of the Picture”). This Brian Lisik music can be appreciated on many levels since it also has the interpretational skills of Willie Nile & Lou Reed. This album is a collaboration with the band Hard Legs musicians. A band record as Brian has outlined.
The 25-minute showcase Nu Wreckard (Drops Oct 13–Cherokee Queen Records) was recorded at the Rialto Theater & has its kindling set. Many tunes smoke nicely. There’s nothing revolutionary here – it’s not “Jailhouse Rock” but it has its roots in that sensibility. Making some spirited noise is all it’s meant to accomplish. Songs like “Didn’t Mean,” despite its basics still come across as an inviting engaging & well-ripened rocker. It actually shows people how old-school rock n’ roll led to grunge.
A funky drum opening adorns the superb “Better Than Nothing,” with punctuating horns & which is quite a different take-off on the material packaged on this CD. Yet, it fits comfortably. Sly & the Family Stone at their peak could’ve covered this tune effectively. I can’t say these tunes are unvarnished because many of them are performed with skill, looseness & exquisite performances.
Falling away from that musical endeavor Brian unleashes an Elvis Costello-type “Anything,” that even has its moments of Graham Parker intonation. It appears to all be rough-shod music but while listening your ears pick up on how well done the music spills from each tune with skill & feeling.
Some colorful language dons “Monk,” but the guitars are sharp & driving throughout. The music is old-fashioned rock, but Brian Lisik & his band just know how to tweak the knobs & light the Roman candles of the reliable genre. If nothing else, it’s entertaining.
Highlights – “Billy the Kid,” “Didn’t Mean,” “Better Than Nothing” & “Anything.”
Musicians – Brian (vocals/guitars/percussion), Robb Meyers (guitars), Steve Norgrove (bass/vocals) Martyn Flunoy (drums/percussion) with The Bizarros’ Nick Nicholas (vocals) & Jerry Parkins (guitar), Don Parkins (bass), John Bohlen (trumpet), Stefan Mazur (trombone) & Ian Early of the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies (sax).
Color image courtesy of Brian’s Facebook. CD @ https://brianlisik.com/