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Saturday, June 9, 2007
Girl in a Coma – Both Before I’m Gone

Blackheart Records

Nas says hip-hop is dead, but after checking out rock trio, Girl in a Coma’s debut CD, Both Before I’m Gone, rock fans can relax. After the dismantling of Sleater-Kinney and Le Tigre, devoted fans of female rockers have been waiting for an act that follows the legacy of these two pioneers, but doesn’t sound overproduced.

While other bands (who shall rename nameless) sell out by featuring their songs on over-hyped summer movies, there are still bands with a woman at the mike that scratch and claw and kick for their independence. One of these bands is San Antonio-based Girl in a Coma, named after the Smiths’ song. Original bad girl Joan Jett and veteran producer Kenny Laguna signed them to Jett’s own Blackheart label after hearing them in New York. It’s easy to spot what Jett saw in the band: Nina Diaz’s voice. Diaz’s been called the female version of Morrissey. No disrespect to the Moz, but Diaz reminds me more of a raw Chrissie Hynde.

The song that won me over was “Their Cell.” With lyrics like “tattooed lovers/they don’t like to reminisce,” this track is a throwback to both The Smiths and The Pretenders. Band members (sisters Nina Diaz and Phanie D, and childhood chum Jenn Alva) perform every song with a simple intimacy that announces rock and roll isn’t dead.

Review by Monica Teresa Ortiz