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Both Before I’m Gone by Girl In A Coma
(Music review by A.L. Harper)
Girl In A Coma (GIAC) is a modern, ultra-hip mixture of 50s retro, modern punk, lilting Irish folk rock and alt rock with a tough girl attitude. Think Indigo Girls, Siouxsie Sioux and Shirley Manson in a dark alley kicking the shit out of the Pixies. GIAC look like the Suicide Girls, and have more attitude than a pissed off Alanis Morissette with PMS. But don’t get me wrong, there is nothing girl rock about GIAC. Their stylised punk hooks and riffs, Nina Diaz’s slick, swaggering vocals and lyrics that show an impressive IQ and startling wisdom in one so young (19) are the building blocks of a sound that is, by turns dreamy and ethereal, edgy and angst-ridden.

Now their debut album Both Before I’m Gone is getting recognised and spreading their fast-paced gritty brand of alt rock/punk to a wider audience. Most recently the San Antonio based trio landed the support tour of the century, when they were asked to support Morrissey on the European leg of his latest tour. All this since they were signed to Joan Jett’s Blackheart Record label in 2006. GIAC have been working to polish their sound and stage presence over the last couple of years, culminating in the release of this physical, brazen, raucous debut full-length album.

Both Before I’m Gone begins with the first single “Clumsy Sky”, the perfect track to demonstrate GIAC’s range in all its glory. “Clumsy Sky” begins as a subtle ballad but moves quickly, if slightly clumsily, into a punk-riff filled fearless track, which is as dirty and beautiful as it could be. From there the album slides into its second track and single “Say” with driving drum beat and straight edge guitar riff.

But Both Before I’m Gone isn’t just ballsy galvanised guitar tracks, they have included a few sublime ballads – well tracks that are more ballad-esque anyway – most notably “Road To Home”. This surprisingly tranquil lullaby has softly lush guitar and slower gentler beats that will serenade you into a dreamlike state.

Other stand-out tracks include “Their Cell”, a song about longing and loss, with voluptuous melodies and harmonies and Nina’s emotive vocals, which seem to reach down into her pathetic, barely-beating heart to rip the pain from her chest to share it with you. “Celibate Now” opens with a retro-50s riff that weaves an evanescent veil of nostalgia around you; executed perfectly by Nina’ crooner-esque vocals and misty guitar riff. And finally “Simple Man”, which represents a complete change of pace for GIAC. This sweet acoustic song about the exquisite pain and pleasure of love is profoundly touching.

Both Before I’m Gone is a must hear album and GIAC are a band to watch and admire. These ballsy chicks are going somewhere. To listen Girl In A Coma you can visit their MySpace space or their website. I suggest you just buy this fabulous debut album from either Amazon or iTunes, as quickly as you can.