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album review
Girl in a Coma's 'Adventures in Coverland' Stay Away From the Obvious

By Gabriel San Roman, Tue., Oct. 19 2010 @ 11:42AM

Girl in a Coma
Adventures in Coverland
Blackheart Records

San Antonio, Texas-based rock trio Girl in a Coma is back with a collection of songs that takes their fans through Adventures in Coverland. After partially releasing interpretations of some of the band's favorite songs on 7-inch vinyl this spring, the entire collection of covers are out today on CD by Blackheart Records with a few new tracks added in the mix.

In Adventures in Coverland the all-female rockers stay away from the obvious. Though Girl in a Coma takes their name from a song by the Smiths, no such re-inventions of any tracks from that band or the solo career of Morrissey that followed are present on the album. Being signed to Joan Jett's Blackheart Records also doesn't automatically translate into any tributes to the Runaways, though Girl in a Coma has collaborated with the singer on their last album, Trio B.C. What the ladies selected instead were eight songs that reflected the musical diversity of their teenage upbringing all the way from Selena to the Beatles.

The musical adventures on the new album begin with a blistering power punk rendition "Si Una Vez" from the now 15-years deceased queen of Tejano music Selena Quintanilla.

Bringing back memories of the fun long defunct LA-based Los Abandoned's Selena set closer "Como La Flor" used to bring, Girl in a Coma's own homage to the slain singer is a mix of cumbia-style drumming on the verses that kick off into distorted riff rocking choruses all the while vocalist Nina Diaz wails in raspy-tinged Spanish.

Going back in music history a couple decades, another notable cover included is Ritchie Valens' "Come On Let's Go." The band previously took on the music of '50s rocker immortalized in La Bamba, years ago singing "We Belong Together" as part of the "Mexico! Mexico! Rock! Rock! Rock!" concert at the Ford Amphitheater in Hollywood. This time around, "Come On Let's Go" is punchy and to the point with the only thing seemingly missing is Ritchie Valens' older brother lamenting the number of vocal takes in the studio! (Watch the movie again!)

The Mexican musical heritage of Girl in a Coma intermingles with other influences on Adventures in Coverland. Nina Diaz's noteworthy voice soars once more in channeling Patsy Cline in "Walkin' After Midnight." Angered by all the xenophobic madness in Arizona, the band also inches towards political expression in Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth," going to show musical journeys into the past sometimes illustrate how little has changed in the present.

Girl in a Coma rounds out their latest album with an acoustic version of "BB" off of Trio B.C. as well as a brand new bilingual song, "Yo Oigo." It's the first time the band has recorded an original composition in their mother tongue and signals what's to come in the future when the ladies return from Coverland.