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Girl In A Coma

By Aaron Pompey

Gearing up for the Vans Warped Tour this summer, Girl in a Coma is already hard at work plugging their new project Both Before I'm Gone, released last month on Blackheart Records. Their Key Club show on Tuesday, June 5 showcased the chemistry between Nina Diaz's inspiring vocal work and the melancholic musicianship of bandmates Jenn Alva and Phanie Diaz, a combination that has scooped the trio from the town where Ozzy Osbourne left his indelible piss stains on The Alamo...toward opportunities that have come out of the impact that their sound has already made at SXSW and their various nationwide appearances.

The not-so-comatose girls opened their Key Club set with "Clumsy Sky," a track that kicked off a tight set marked by both influence (they've been compared to understated 80s rockers like The Smiths) and transformation. Their fresh sound does less to plainly echo a past decade than reveal a facility for tapping into the hope and heartbreak of their own generation.

Following up "Clumsy Sky," the San Antonio trio took their clever balance of harmony and hardship to impressive levels with well-crafted numbers like "Mr. Chivalry," "In the Background," "Road to Home," and "Their Cell."

It's hard not to imagine that their edgy balance of jangly pop and jilted fury will secure them some level of distinction as they embark on the Warped Tour and build their quickly-expanding fan base.

Nina, the younger of the Diaz sisters, has never been shy about her ability to craft songs and deliver them with power and grace. While Jenn and Phanie submerged themselves in the melodies and vocal nuances of the iconic sounds of Morrissey and Johnny Marr during high school, Nina was working out a music identity that would give her the refinement and confidence to take the trio from spinning old record to singing their own songs.

Securing a slot on tour with the likes of Alkaline Trio and Bad Religion comes as no surprise to listeners who've caught the girls live or who are regular visitors to their myspace outpost. With their new album out on Joan Jett's Blackheart label, it's not a question of whether these girls are good, it's a question of who has had the chance to hear how good they are.

Girl in a Coma have a few more stops in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest states before they jump on the 2007 Warped Tour in mid-July. They'll join a powerhouse roster of bands who will be canvassing the nation for nearly the entire summer, though their tuneful agility will, no doubt, set them apart.

Both the official Girl in a Coma website and their myspace list upcoming summer tour dates, locations, and music samples.