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Fresh Beats: Girl in a Coma’s Trio B.C.
by Stephanie Nolasco

Few bands have the chance to play beyond their garages, but in the case of three heavily tattooed Mexicanas from San Antonio, their hunger to make music was eased by a legendary icon. Sisters Phanie and Nina Diaz, along with friend Jenn Alva, were just a group of feisty Tejanas with a love for Nirvana and skipping school before they had their major break as an all-girl punk group. After five years of writing and touring, the trio behind Girl in a Coma traveled to New York City for a show at the Knitting Factory, leading to a surprise meeting with Joan Jett. The girls were quickly signed under Jett’s Blackheart Records label and the rest, as they say, is history. Since the release of their 2007 album Before I’m Gone, Girl in a Coma is back with Trio B.C., proving that it takes more balls to pour your heart out than to smash a guitar on stage.

In just two years, Girl in a Coma has dramatically matured from hard-as-nails rockeras to rebels with a cause. Their transition to adulthood is clearly heard in their latest musical release, demonstrating their ability to play faster and better than the fellas. The Diaz sisters chose the title Trio B.C. as a tribute to their late grandfather’s tejano band from the ‘50s, and coincidently enough, throwback beats with a romantic Latin spirit fuel their new haunting, melancholy sound, often exploding with angst. The first track “BB” takes listeners to the steamy southwest where the girls are a little bit country and rock ‘n’ roll. Nina croons with such intensity and passion that she shamelessly aches for your attention as if that‘s the only way she can survive. Fortunately, her powerful, throaty vocals don’t outshine the Tejano style guitar solo, making the track beautifully heartbreaking. However, Girl in a Coma goes back to their no-nonsense punk roots in “Baby Boy” where Phanie ferociously pounds her drums and Nina proudly wails “Oh I feel so alive for the first time.” With just a few seconds of hearing an aggressive electric guitar dueling with a bass being wildly plucked, we know she isn’t kidding. Yet this is only the beginning of discovering the musical talent these girls possess.

While rock isn’t often seen with heart, Girl in a Coma has no fear in baring their souls, making Trio B.C. one of the best albums worth picking up this year. In “Trail” the band goes retro with a bittersweet doo-wop spiked in dark humor that can be found in lyrics like “ I’m all right for now, I’ll just never sleep again.” While the track is a roller coaster of emotions, Phanie remains consistent with steady drumming, exemplifying her showmanship. The girl-power anthem “Joanie in the City” immediately steals the show not so much for its rebellious spirit, but for featuring Jett herself on guitar and backing vocals. While “Ven Cera” is a remake of a popular 1960’s Mexican pop song by Los Spitfires, Girl in a Coma give it a feminine touch with Nina’s erotic snarls, piercing guitar riffs, and a familiar grunge melody that brings back the ‘90s in a good way. Best of all, Girl in a Coma gives fans hope that perhaps an all-Spanish album may soon be in the works. For now, Trio B.C. can stand as a classic that’ll be treasured for years to come.