Brian Lisik & Hard Legs make a Nu Wreckard with a dirty old sound

 Akron-based singer-songwriter Brian Lisik was thinking a lot about the ghosts of his musical past while making his latest studio album, appropriately dubbed Nu Wreckardout Oct. 13 on Cherokee Queen Records.

“Frankly, in the past couple years, I’ve become bored with anything but rock-n-roll,” Lisik said. “And I’m talking the rawer and bleaker the better; Flat Duo Jets, Daniel Johnston, Peter Laughner, Link Wray, Billy Lee Riley, Gil Scott Heron, this German jazz guitarist named Tobias Hoffman who is just great. Lately I’ve been trying to do more with less whenever possible.”

This aesthetic has extended to both Lisik’s minimalist backing band of guitarist Robb Myers and drummer Martyn Flunoy – with occasional appearances from long-time bassist/vocalist and songwriting partner, Steve Norgrove – and the seven-song Nu Wreckard. The album is short, it’s snotty, it’s irreverent and it’s smart.

Or, as Lisik himself put it: “I try hard not to write songs for stupid people.”

The album is also notable for its abundance of co-writing by Lisik’s Hard Legs colleagues, with more than half the album credited to the Lisik-Myers-Flunoy partnership. While he has co-written with others, primarily Norgrove, over his previous seven solo outings, Lisik said creating Nu Wreckard was an organically collaborate effort from the start. A true band record, if you will.

“These songs were born from us getting in a room, making some noise and seeing what happens. More so than I’ve done in years,” Lisik said. “Letting other people make suggestions and decisions about my songs can be a very frightening process, but also a very rewarding one.”

Featuring guest appearances from Ian Early (Cherry Poppin’ Daddies) and Akron rock legends, The Bizarros (which Flunoy is also a member of), Nu Wreckard deftly traverses an ocean of genres – from raw ‘50s rock to 90s grunge to campy ‘70s TV cop show sounds.

In spite of its brevity, the album is deceptively deep – a musical milieu of bloody streets populated by corrupt politicians who didn’t really mean it, Old West outlaws who most certainly did, and Gatemouth Brown’s flooded casket. A world where anything can be better than nothing at all – most of the time.

“I hope I haven’t hit my creative peak, but if I had to sum it up I this is probably the best pure rock-n-roll record I’ve ever made,” Lisik said.

Nu Wreckard follows Lisik’s 2022 release, the intentionally unvarnished live album Hotsy Totsy!American Songwriter placed “Monk,” a searingly profane non-single from that album, among its Top 24 songs of the year. Hotsy Totsy! was also named one of the Canton Repository’s “Best of 2022” releases.

No Depression called Lisik’s music “a winning formula of catchy phrasing, jangly guitar riffs and great pop hooks.”  The Seattle Post Intelligencer said his songs make “A rough and tumble garage-y sound…soaked deep in an ocean of chunky guitars.” Music writer Lee Zimmerman said “Lisik writes songs that resonate almost immediately…sharp, smart and full of edgy intensity…bold, assertive and flush with full tilt rock ‘n’ roll.”

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Brian Lisik & Hard Legs cover Replacements classic, “Alex Chilton”

AKRON, OH (April 25, 2023) – Coming on the heels of their 2022 Don-Dixon produced live album, Hotsy Totsy!, Akron, Ohio-based Brian Lisik & Hard Legs’ (Lisik, guitarist Robb Myers and drummer Martyn Flunoy) latest single – due May 19 from Cherokee Queen Records – is a blistering version of The Replacements classic, “Alex Chilton,” every bit as raw and off-the-cuff as both the song’s subject and its composers.

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