Rayner with Alex and His Meal Ticket, Eliza Battle. February 28, 9 p.m., free. Aces & Ales, 3740 S. Nellis Blvd., 702-436-7600.
Four young punks file into the Beat, logos of punk-rock heavyweights like The Queers and The Slackers crossing their black tees. One has a Dos Equis in hand—it’s 11 a.m. Another slams a giant energy drink. Singer Dany Henrriquez orders a coffee and finds a seat at the table. “This is the most professional thing we’ve ever done,” Henrriquez says of our interview with his new band, Rayner.
That’s hard to believe. They have business cards (nice ones), they’ve recorded a stripped-down session for punksinvegas.com and Paul Miner (Death by Stereo, Thrice, New Found Glory) mixed their three-song EP, Where Do I Begin? Hardly signs of a band that doesn’t know what it’s doing. Plus, Henrriquez has a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science, and guitarist Christopher Piro in business management—not your stereotypical punk-rock bona fides.
Henrriquez calls the music “punk that grew up and got emotional. I’m tired of yelling about the government,” he says. Instead, bands like Iron Chic, Latterman and Jawbreaker influence Rayner’s melodic, raw pop-punk, and power chords gallop through quick, coarse, untreated lyrics. “I refuse to be your confessional/cleanse you of guilt when you’re vulnerable/feed your urges/don’t come to me when your indiscretions won’t let you sleep,” Henrriquez sings on “Very, Dreadfully Nervous.”
“You can only be angry about things for so long,” adds guitarist Rory Child, who shares writing duties with Henrriquez. “When you’re a teen and you listen to punk, it’s hard to tell people you have emotion. It’s sad words, but happier-sounding sounds.”
The group was dreamt up by Piro and Sergio Cervantes (drums) back in February 2014. With the additions of Manny Hollers (not present during our interview) on bass, Child and Henrriquez, the guys played their first show opening for hardcore New Orleans punks Pears in December. As Rayner begins working on the next collection of songs, the guys are focused on playing more—like on next week’s solid bill with Alex and His Meal Ticket and Eliza Battle—and eventually playing some out-of-town shows. If Rayner’s brief history is any indication, the band’s organic grit and punk-rock savvy could have heads banging and lips moving just about anywhere.