“Goddammit, people! It’s a Saturday night!” Stephen Rey yells into a microphone. “Get your asses up here.” And they do, and then he and the Sex Trash pile it on. There are only three of them. They include Nathan Beale playing leads on an old Telecaster and Tim Lowman (Low Volts) on a marching drum with a hubcap screwed into the side of it. Simple, primitive, but ferocious. The sound cuts the room. Rey himself is a picture taken from the pages of a book about ’50s truck-driving rock and roll. He is a rip-cord muscled rocker in a wifebeater with an air of menace and a roached acoustic guitar played through an amplifier that sounds as if on the verge of a blowout. “I probably sound like I’m in diapers, compared to Link Wray,” he says by phone. “I saw him in L.A. once. I hitchhiked up there to see him.”
Anybody into hot-rod life will get what Sex Trash is about. “Was there a plan? No, it wasn’t planned at all. I have a propensity for old bikes and car culture that goes back to childhood.” Rey says he may have had images in his head, but that it just came out this way when he and the other two started playing songs in Rey’s garage. “I’m just trying to bring back some old sounds.”
Born in Victorville and raised in San Diego, Rey says he is a vampire when asked how old he is. “I’m ageless.” The band’s age is approximately three months. “It kind of haphazardly happened.” Rey and Lowman are roommates. Beale lives in L.A. and sleeps on Rey’s sofa (the two are also members of Lady Dottie and the Diamonds). The Sex Trash are thinking about recording an EP in Rey’s 101-year-old South Park house on eight-track tape. “We’re gonna head to the high ground,” he says, “before the universe rips.”
Cash’d Out also performs.
Stephen Rey: Sunday, September 2, Belly Up, 858-481-8140, doors 8 p.m., $16 advance/$18 day of show.