While Moncton has garnered a reputation for providing a generous helping of rock and heavy metal bands over the last 30 years, among other genres, punk has also played an integral part of the local scene.
The latest addition to Moncton’s ongoing punk history is Nerve Button, a band steeped in the tradition of iconic punk bands including The Stooges and The Saints. Performing at Moncton’s Esquire Tavern on Friday Aug. 26, the group’s self-titled debut wears its influences proudly on its sleeves, delivering nine concisely energetic tunes that eagerly beckon for repeated listens.
Although a new group in one sense of the word, three-fifths of Nerve Button was a part of stalwart Moncton band Bad Luck #13, which called it a day at the turn of the century after more than 14 years of good-natured hell-raising throughout the city.
Following that band’s dissolution, Ray Auffrey found himself playing bass as a member of The Mean and later, The Beaten Hearts. Second guitarist Claude Doiron began working on a heavy metal project called Funeral Fog, while Bad Luck #13 vocalist Mike Melanson stepped entirely away from the microphone.
Coming together in the context of a new group was appealing to Auffrey for a number of reasons:
“Starting fresh is great because it forces you to write new material and you are not bound by your previous history,” he says. “There are always offers on the table to reform Bad Luck #13, which is flattering, but the reality is that two members haven’t played music since the band retired so it seems unlikely that the original lineup will reunite. Anything could be possible though.”
Joining the former Bad Luck #13 members in Nerve Button are guitarist Tyler Boutilier, who had been a part of The Beaten Hearts with Auffrey, in addition to drummer Marc Doucet, whose resume includes Acadian favourites Idée du Nord, Thee Suddens and others.
“I knew Tyler was a perfect fit as he understood exactly what we were trying to do with this band. He shares our love of 70’s glam/glitter, bubblegum, garage rock, proto-punk and obscure 70’s punk. As for Marc, he’s a drumming legend and an avid record collector with similar tastes in music, so it really was a no-brainer to bring him onboard.”
Written over the span of a three- to four-year period, Nerve Button’s debut was originally released on cassette earlier this year via Victoria, B.C. indie label Shake! Records. The vinyl release of the record – soon to be available in local independent record stores – comes courtesy of German label Wanda Records.
Auffrey considers the pairing with Wanda to be a match made in heaven.
“Historically, Western Europe has always had a love for high energy rock and roll, whether it be garage rock, rockabilly or punk music,” he says. “It’s a good home for what we are doing.”
What: Nerve Button, with The Disasterbaters and Mark Sultan
When: Friday Aug. 26, 10 p.m.
Where: Esquire Tavern, 2 Reade St., Moncton