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December 1, 2011 | 1 Comment

Girl in a Coma


Ok, so I didn’t exactly discover Girl in a Coma, but the all-Latina, San Antonio band was certainly new to me when I witnessed their ability to rock the house as they opened up for the Ladies Gone Wild Go-Go’s tour while in Dallas this past summer. I am quite accustomed to being the last to know what the cool kids have obviously been privy to for quite some time but I jumped at the chance to cover the GIAC show when I heard they were going on tour and Dallas would be one of their first stops. I do, however, expect formidable groupie points for knowing all of the songs from their recently released Exits & All the Rest album in plenty of time for their November 4th show. Thanks to NPR Music’s Exclusive First Listen, I had a full week to preview the band’s musically seductive new songs before ever stepping foot in the equally hipster Prophet Bar.

Cover art for Exits & All the Rest,

Being the true fanatic that I am, I made sure to mention my similar musical taste to bassist Jenn Alva right before the start of their set. I mean, how can you not when these chicas’ role models are music champions like the Smiths, Nirvana, Björk, and Patsy Cline. I’ll have you know that a mere couple of weeks ago, I squandered an entire evening in the alcohol-less SMU McFarlin Auditorium for a Morrissey concert myself. All I was trying to convey was that I had seen many of the greats of my existential generation X, and Girl in a Coma was inarguable in the same realm of musical quality as the best of them.

Some of Girl in a Coma’s melodies and drummer Phanie Diaz’s beats are reminiscent of what you would hear in Just Like Heaven, a song by English rock band The Cure, only with the addition of a roughness and punch you could only expect from three badass girls from Texas. With daring and not so predictable lyrics like “You were never one to fake it, I’ve never felt a lust like this, not quite like this” and “You’re gonna love me ‘cause I’m sane”, Girl in a Coma shows they are not afraid to engage their audience a little more soulfully than anticipated.

These extraordinary tunes, mixed with vocalist Nina Diaz’s sweltering, yet silvery and sweet delivery of the songs’ lyrics, make for an unexpected old school, sock hop era sound that keeps their listeners swaying hypnotically along. They even recorded their own version of the aforementioned Patsy Cline’s Walking After Midnight that will positively rock your country music-loving socks off.

So as expected, I must surrender the credit for this major musical discovery to every one of their followers before me but also to none other than the legendary Joan Jett who, according to the band’s official website,, “signed them on the spot” after they performed for her in 2006. The site also lists “stabs of punk, tejano, rockabilly, classic rock and roll, rancheras, indie rock and ballads” as contributions “to a sound that can only be described as Girl in a Coma.”