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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Girl In A Coma, Girl Power

by Alyson Camus

Nina Diaz (vocals/guitars), Phanie Diaz (drums, yes they are sisters), and Jenn Alva (bass), are three Latina girls from San Antonio, Texas, who play hard and tough like punk rockers. They took their name after The Smith’s song (doesn’t Joe Strummer have a ‘Coma girl’ song too?), and Morrissey may have recognized the influence since he asked them himself to open for him in 2007.

The all-female energetic trio was playing at the Sunset Junction Fair on Sunday afternoon, and I got a taste of their toughness but also of their sweet side. They pretty much mix everything from rock, punk, country, rockabilly or even blues, and the strong and clear vocals of Nina Diaz made a strong impression on the crowd composed at 80% of girls.

Nina, wearing a David Bowie-Ziggy stardust tee-shirt and showing her tattooed arms, was making expressive faces and rolling her dark eyes while singing, whereas Jenn was dancing and balancing with her bass and Phanie was almost completely hidden behind her drums.
Between the songs, Nina advised the crowd to go on the Daisy dragon (a ride at the fair) for a romantic date, ‘You won’t feel like vomiting at all, that’s how you can test how much devotion he’ll show to you’ she added.

The slowly romantic and almost retro ‘El Monte’ turned into a passionate ‘I do, I do, I do’, a sort of anthem-declaration as if it was sung by a country crooner.

Nina rocked hard, violently streaming her guitar, and her voice sure could scream the lyrics while staying in tune; it’s no surprise if the power trio is signed to Joan Jett’s label, Blackheart Records. She mentioned at one point an album of cover songs they had recorded recently, ‘Adventures in Coverland’, consisting of songs that their mother liked or that have influenced them deeply.

It was tough for the non-singers of the band to attract any attention since Nina was the center of everybody’s attention,... that girl has some stage presence!

A new original Girl in a Coma song, ‘Yo Oigo’, has been chosen to be featured in Robert Rodriguez’s new movie Machete coming out this September, so they are definitively the hit-girls of the moment.

If you want to listen to their girl power sound, go to their myspace page: