Following in the footsteps of fellow New Brunswick acts like Nerve Button, which has found a home for its music via an overseas independent label, Moncton punk band the Phone Jerks are the latest group to be able to boast of such a claim.
The quartet’s latest 7-inch single Can’t Stand The Maritimes – a play on a song written by short-lived American mid-west band Dow Jones and the Industrials – has been given global distribution via Italy’s Goodbye Boozy Records, which reached out to the group after having come across some of their music on the Terminal Boredom message board.
“The one thing we wanted to do with this band was exactly what Goodbye Boozy suggested: A one-sided, three-song 7″ on a black-and-white sleeve,” Phone Jerks guitarist Tyler Boutilier explains. “Having one of the coolest garage punk labels in the world, that has released music by some of our favourite artists, offer to put it out was something we never could have expected.”
Asked what he feels drive the Europeans’ fascination with groups from Eastern Canada, Boutilier believes the vibrant undercurrent driving punk scenes and labels in Germany, Italy and Spain leads labels in those three countries to look beyond their borders when scouting new music to share with the world.
“Places like Italy, Germany and Spain always seemed to have a loyal fanbase for [New York band] The Devil Dogs and [Japan’s] Teengenerate style of groups. Understandably, Americans are a bit more jaded on bands like us because we’re a dime a dozen there. American labels generally don’t need to look far to find a band like us.”
Formed in late 2014, the Phone Jerks – rounded out by vocalist Brian LaManna, drummer Emily Boutilier and bassist Andrew Farrell – hit the ground running with the three songs featured on Can’t Stand The Maritimes. The tracks – “Northside Boy (Part Deux),” “Bomb At The Causeway” and “Waiting For The Asteroid” – are serious on energy, embracing a recklessly sonic aesthetic that flies directly in the face of what is generally seen as “punk” music today, right down to the less than two-minute duration of each of the songs.
But as the limited-edition run of the group’s 7-inch single already nears depletion, the band is already looking to the future: Boutilier shares the band has upwards of 16 other songs ready to go, some of which will be shared on the Phone Jerk’s next release, which is currently in the mixing stages and could be available digitally as soon as next month.
To sample songs from Can’t Stand The Maritimes along with other sonic nuggets from the group, check out the Phone Jerks online at phonejerks.bandcamp.com.