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She's So Skirt
By dgilbert1981, Thursday, June, 4, 2009

With a soulful sound reminiscent of a woman who has experienced all that life has to offer, you may be surprised to learn that Nina Diaz of the San Antonio-based band, Girl in a Coma, is actually only 21. With lyrics telling the story of a man whom she wants to “break apart and put together again,” the song “Simple Man” was written when Nina was just 15 years old. It reflects the thoughts of a woman who has loved deeply.

Too young to go out with her sister, Phanie Diaz, and her sister’s best friend Jenn Alva, Nina explains that she would stay home and imagine what they were doing while out on the town. Through the colorful imagery by her own mind, Nina started to write. At 12, Nina surprised Phanie and Jenn, showing that she could play Phanie’s guitar and revealing her original lyrics to the group. In the 9 years that followed, the three girls took every opportunity to practice and perform, building-up a fan base quickly and catching the eye of many famous musicians including Morrissey and Joan Jett.On June 2, the girl power group, known for being wise beyond their years, will release their 2nd album, Trio BC, on the Blackheart Record label. The band, classified as Indie, Alternative Rock and Punk, is excited about the fresh, new sound of their second release. “We have grown together as a group,” they proclaim.Produced by Greg Collins, who has worked with many famed artists such as U2, Gwen Stefani and KISS, as well as Gabe Gonzales, the girls credit the duo with providing a lot of encouragement and direction throughout the making of their second album. “He [Greg Collins] taught us to work harder and to be more open minded. Gabe is also an influence...teaching us the technicality of recording,” they explain.

Nina and Phanie’s grandfather, the late Cleofas Olivares, who also played in a band as well as several musical instruments, was the first and lasting musical influence in the sisters’ lives. In fact, their grandfather continues to make his mark on the girls’ musical career. Trio BC is actually a tribute to him and is named after his band. In addition to family, Girl in a Coma also draws inspiration from Morrisey, Riot Girl, 90s Alternative and 50's Rockabilly tunes.

Trio BC features thirteen songs, including their first song in Spanish, “Ven Cerca,” originally performed by Los Spitfires. A love song that the band enjoys performing live, the audience can feel the raw emotions through the music and the lyrics as they sing about a lover who is beckoned so his lover can “breathe his breath.” Other songs on the new album include “Bb,” which starts off with Nina’s familiar guitar strings and throaty voice singing her hauntingly unique lyrics and “El Monte,” which begins as a ballad and retains an old time feel. Two songs feature Joan Jett on guitar and background vocals, “In the Day” and “Vino,” both of which are a unique mixture of Joan’s influence and Girl in a Coma’s own original sound. From “Slaughter Lane,” with hint of rockabilly, to “Empty Promise,” which is reminiscent of the Cure, the album is full of flavor and even a familiar essence of the group’s first album with songs like “Pink Lemonade,” “Pleasure and Pain,” “Static Mind,” and “Trail.”

With original lyrics written my Nina, and melodies created as a compilation of the group, Girl in a Coma is a wonderful cross between the Pixies, Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Smiths.

When the ladies behind Girl in a Coma aren’t too busy making music, they would like to learn more Spanish. And, like so many of us they love shoes too – each with their favorite brand. Nina likes Doc Martens, Phanie has a fondness for Chucks and Jenn is a Vans girl.