Living in Oakland there might seem to be far more bands than necessary swinging from the same complacent rock ‘n’ roll vine, for the rest of us around the world though, our thirst cannot be quenched for the talent and sound that area consistently offers up to us. Pookie and the Poodlez has remained strictly in the peripheral for a significant amount of time now, somehow more by proxy than by personal experience Trevor Straub has been a part of our collective awareness, be it through making noise with Nobunny to just being attached to rad bills at our favorite spots over and over again, his presence on and off stage gives nothing but positive lifting vibes that one cannot help but find themselves attracted to. His records though have seemed only to steal the hearts of a handful of people, when shown to friends he comes across a difficult sell, so many peers seem to want art only to be crafted by those who take themselves seriously (whatever that means) and there is something both in demeanor and in sound to Pookie and the Poodlez that makes getting our more staunchly pragmatic friends to open up to him.
Young Adult will not work in the slightest to convert those too stubborn to have a good time into believers, that has never seemed to be an ambition for Straub and he most certainly didn’t choose to take on that task this go around either. The album does work though to give us one more record to feel arrogantly superior to their close-minded taste and for that we will always remain eternally grateful. This record is ideally on point. Nothing we’ve come to love in the past about Pookie and the Poodlez has been augmented, the lo-fi texture is as involved as ever, if anything has matured it would be the strengthening of songwriting at most, not so much in sound but in substance, making this, start to finish, the exact record we knew, and hoped, he could make. Although this album technically came out last fall, the cassette was gone pretty much at the moment any of us caught sight of it, so Southpaw now releasing the LP makes it feel both new and heaven-sent.
If for whatever reason you haven’t seen this band live, take our word and catch them first chance you get, it is as alive and wild as rock ‘n’ roll can get, there truly aren’t enough bands around still playing that way, do yourself and the world a solid and make it a point to help preserve these islands of hope we still have left.
Jay Armstrong is one of our regular contributors at ANON Magazine. He writes with an honest and knowledgeable voice and runs Heycoolkid!, a means of changing and highlighting good dudes creating unpretentious incredible art that perpetually go unnoticed.