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Girl In A Coma induces thrash-ability in Chicago
June 26, 2009, at the National Museum of Mexican Art
By Genevieve Diesing
Published: June 29th, 2009 | 12:50pm

The members of Girl In A Coma don’t look or sound like your average Smiths fans. The all-girl group is known for a boisterous rock sound and tough girl vibe, and their commercially catchy tone is peppered with rockabilly, country, and even a little punk. Although the band — which is named after the Smiths’ similarly titled hit — is not the typical product of Morrisey’s literary laments, the members got their idol’s blessing in 2007 when Morrisey himself asked the girls to open for him at the end of his October tour.

This wouldn’t be the first time the San Antonio–based trio, which is comprised of sisters Nina and Phanie Diaz on vocals and drums respectively and bassist Jenn Alva, caught the ear of a prominent musician. The group wowed Joan Jett who, after hearing them in 2006, reportedly signed them to her label Blackheart Records on the spot.

Though enjoying meteoric success in a relatively young career, Girl In A Coma can still be found in small and unconventional venues, such as the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. For $5, fans crowded the museum’s well-lit auditorium with Mexican paper decorations that hung from the ceiling and not a bar or cluster of chatty hipsters in sight.

Although a bit wholesome for a rock show, the setting did not take away from Girl In A Coma’s, shall we say, thrash-ability. Younger sister Nina Diaz wailed like a mad woman, as she jerked her guitar to the beat and screamed with an expression that can only be described as electric.

Diaz’s rare voice has been compared to landmark vocalists such as Bjork and Patsy Cline, but it is unmistakably her own. Her ability to jump from elegant vibrato to snarling wail while penetrating through the band’s trademark, luscious heavy guitars and thrashing cymbals launches the group’s catchy sound into another stratosphere altogether.

The raw energy of “BB,” from the 2009 full-length Trio B.C., proved to be the biggest crowd pleaser, while the girls explored newer territory with the prettily ascending “Trail,” that they admitted to not normally playing.

Although they only played for 50 minutes before returning for a one-song encore, Girl In A Coma paused to take pictures, sign autographs, and even man the merchandise booth after the show. An autograph, a photo, and a chance to see one of rock’s rising-star vocalists for only $5? Morrisey would be proud.