Dog Brigade

Canadian punks Brutal Poodle bring their garage rock to Eugene

John, the guitarist and singer with Vancouver, B.C., garage-punk three-piece Brutal Poodle, has been playing music since he was a teenager. He asks to be identified by his first name only, for “border reasons.” 

It was the ’90s, he recalls, and grunge was big. His brother showed him a few chords to a Nirvana song. 

“It felt like you could replicate this amazing thing in a very small way,” he remembers. “I got the music bug at a young age.”

And now Brutal Poodle is touring behind their latest release, Long Time No See, a rough ‘n’ tumble collection of quality rock tunes existing somewhere between noisy guitar pop and the Replacements. 

John says that before Brutal Poodle, he wanted to play music with musicians he knew well personally but had yet to work with creatively. “It feels like a new thing, in a way,” he says. “Everyone brings something. Scenes get insular.” He calls Vancouver “a “big-small town in some ways.” 

And that kind of I-gotta-get-out-of-this-town energy, similar to the Replacements and a lot of other ’80s-era punk, is at the core of Brutal Poodle. “I love all ’80s Midwest sound, rooted in really good pop songs,” he says. 

“I’ve always liked a band that has some really good musicians in it,” he goes on, “but there’s something about it that could just go off the rails.” ν

Brutal Poodle plays with Eugene’s Critical Shakes and Mind the Fold 10 pm Saturday, Dec. 22, at Luckey’s; $5, 21-plus.