Welcome to Pass the Aux, where KQED Arts & Culture brings you our favorite new tracks by Bay Area artists. Check out past entries and submit a song for future coverage.
Before performing together in backyards, sheds and basements, the members of San Jose band Star 99 spent their younger years exploring the South Bay’s small but sturdy indie punk scene. Saoirse Alesandro, Jeremy Romero, Thomas Romero and Chris Gough attended shows, danced and headbanged together to the loud, energetic songs of their favorite bands Shinobu and Algernon Cadwallader.
Now, years later, they make their own music—emerging into the punk archive they grew up admiring. On July 10, they released their latest project STAR 99, featuring three songs titled “Born to Run,” “Vegas” and “Wyoming.”
Upon first listen, Star 99’s songs start and end in a flurry, reading like jumbled diary entries set to blaring instrumentals that swell to satisfying resolutions. “All of the lyrics are from my journal,” Saoirse, the band’s lead vocalist confirms, describing the song making process as an “exorcism.” She pulls from her most personal thoughts and, with her bandmates, tinkers with them to various chord progressions until something clicks.