CD / Digital
August 30, 1999

Passing Notes, the debut album by New Jersey’s High School Sweethearts, features 16 floor-shaking tracks of Blondie-style punk rock; songs about everything from good clean fun to the most decadent rock ‘n’ roll fueled debauchery. The album boasts a special cameo by Peggy Davison, original lead singer of ’60s Girl Pop sensations The Angels. She’s featured on the Sweethearts’ spirited cover of “Has Anybody Seen My Boyfriend?,” a follow up to the legendary smash hit “My Boyfriend’s Back.”

H.S. Sweethearts’ story begins with lead vocalist Cynthia Santiglia. This singer-about-town was roaming the musical streets of New York City, searching for someone to whip her into a raucous rock ‘n’ roll frenzy, when she walked straight into the arms of John Steele (rhythm guitar/songwriter), the former drummer of Electric Frankenstein and Holeshot. In John, she found the perfect partner–musical and otherwise–and the band was formed in 1995.

Shortly thereafter they inducted former Holeshot vocalist Bill Gill as lead guitar. And with the end of Holeshot came Jason Pavia on bass. Bred of the Hardcore/Punk scene he was invited to share his inventive way around a bass line and collaborative flair as a member of the Sweethearts.

Armed with an early demo, Jason introduced the band to Ari Katz and his drums. He was a frequent path-crosser of the other Sweethearts as lead singer of the now-defunct NJ-based Hardcore legend Lifetime. Ari led them to Tannis Kristjanson who was asked to lend a hand on vintage Farfisa and backing vocals for a Blondie tribute comp contribution. She obliged and rendered the Sweethearts so smitten that they asked her to go steady.