ALL MUSIC GUIDE

Return to Girl In A Coma

 

Trio B.C.
Girl in a Coma

Review by Phil Freeman
This Mexican-American all-girl trio mixes rockabilly, country, Texas blues, and a dash of the Smiths (mostly in Nina Diaz's Morrissey-influenced vocals) into a sound that's melancholy and rockin' at once. Their debut, Both Before I'm Gone, offered outbursts of punk rock energy alongside a romanticism that called to mind Mexican ranchero ballads. On this follow-up, they're a little twangier but just as tough, with songs like "Slaughter Lane" and "Static Mind" falling somewhere between Morrissey's Your Arsenal and Social Distortion. Their softer side comes out on the waltz-time "Trail" and the drifting "Pink Lemonade," while on the raucous "Joannie in the City," the band's labelhead and semi-mentor, Joan Jett, makes a backing vocal cameo. She doesn't need to teach frontwoman Nina Diaz anything about rocking, though; the "Coma" girls — including Nina's older sister Phanie on drums and bassist Jenn Alva — come across self-assured and in total possession of their sound throughout Trio B.C. The album closes with two surprises in a row: the punk-metal raveup of "Empty Promise," and "Ven Cerca," a noisy, dissonant cover of a hit by early-'60s Mexican pop group Los Spitfires and the first Girl in a Coma song to be sung in Spanish. In this way, and with the album's title (named after the Diaz sisters' grandfather's Tejano band), they're asserting their Latin identity while staking their claim as an utterly American rock act, much the way the Plugz did at the tail-end of the '70s when they repurposed "La Bamba" as a hardcore anthem.