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Photo by Matt OttoIt's hard not to wonder what kind of booger-eating mutants Street Trash must be: a recordcover with an ejaculating penis riding a skateboard, Dealing With It-era DRI meets Void punk delivered at roughly a zillion bpm (even a lyric sheet and speed-reading course don't help), and a band name (and theme song) inspired by a B-movie gorefest about a drink that causes winos to melt.
But then you have a nice, pleasant, normal conversation with singer Josh about art—for him, it's collecting hard-to-find movies (he thinks DVDs have taken the challenge out of it) and an Indian music-video TV show called Showbiz India ("It's just really wacky songs and stupid dance numbers, but superhot chicks," he says happily). And you can't help but wonder something else: Have Street Trash found the perfect outlet for young-dude angst? And as a result, are they really too sane and healthy for their own good?
They broke up before the summer, when they weren't able to start a tour that was already set up. But then they were asked to play a benefit for a friend, and the joy was too strong to resist. So far they've only played one last-minute reunion show (without one of their original guitarists). Which was a lot like their regular shows: utterly cathartic and utterly chaotic.
But that's how they work. There's the time they played a coffeehouse and decided to ollie skateboards off tables strategically placed in front of the stage. There were also the Piccolo Petes they decided to light—all this for an audience five deep. Even a tame show ends with the bar covered in ketchup.
"It's dumb," says Josh. "But dumb to a good degree. It's just the energy of the music that makes us go nuts. Once we started playing live more, we just sped it up and just wanted to break everything."
But they're somehow uniquely good at what they do: any overstimulated teen could play garbage fast enough and get off on it, but Street Trash have that extra something that works for the cretins and the critics alike, acting as a cheerfully accessible B-culture garbage disposal, just as the Ramones did about 30 years ago.
"I think everybody has pretty good taste," says Josh. "And it comes through."
STREET TRASH WITH FM BATS, WARGASMS AND VINYL ISSUE AT KOO'S, 540 E. BROADWAY, LONG BEACH, (562) 491-7584; WWW.KOOS.ORG. FRI., 8 P.M. $6. ALL AGES.