LA WEEKLY

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Girl in a Coma

Key Club Tue, Jun 5 8:00 pm Rock & Pop

Within the first few seconds of the first song, “Clumsy Sky,” on the San Antonio trio Girl in a Coma’s debut album, Both Before I’m Gone (on Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records), singer-guitarist Nina Diaz has already introduced herself as a charismatic singer with a big, beautiful voice that’s somewhere between the maternal comfort of Chrissie Hynde and the ghostly
power of Siouxsie Sioux. She positively sparkles during the song’s sugary pop intro but still maintains her sense of dreaminess even after the song kicks into a fast punk tempo. Although she’s a gifted songwriter who shares some of Morrissey’s romantic masochism and despair on songs like “Mr. Chivalry,” Diaz and her crew have a much wider range of influences than the Smiths (whose song “Girlfriend in a Coma” inspired their name). Her guitar playing is just as much Cure-like as it is Marr-velous on “In the Background,” and her sister-drummer Phanie Diaz and bassist Jenn Alva also stir up some exhilaratingly doomy Joy Division–style patterns. Nina’s supremely confident keening turns “Road to Home” into a pure-pop gem, and she confides enigmatically that “Tattooed lovers don’t like to reminisce” on the pretty jangle “Their Cell.” Also at Alex's Bar, Thurs. (Falling James)