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Trio B.C.

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Album Review

This Mexican-American all-girl trio mixes rockabilly, country, Texas blues, and a dash of the Smiths (mostly in Nina Diaz's Morrissey-influenced vocals) into a sound that's melancholy and rockin' at once. Their debut, Both Before I'm Gone, offered outbursts of punk rock energy alongside a romanticism that called to mind Mexican ranchero ballads. On this follow-up, they're a little twangier but just as tough, with songs like "Slaughter Lane" and "Static Mind" falling somewhere between Morrissey's Your Arsenal and Social Distortion. Their softer side comes out on the waltz-time "Trail" and the drifting "Pink Lemonade," while on the raucous "Joannie in the City," the band's labelhead and semi-mentor, Joan Jett, makes a backing vocal cameo. She doesn't need to teach frontwoman Nina Diaz anything about rocking, though; the "Coma" girls — including Nina's older sister Phanie on drums and bassist Jenn Alva — come across self-assured and in total possession of their sound throughout Trio B.C. The album closes with two surprises in a row: the punk-metal raveup of "Empty Promise," and "Ven Cerca," a noisy, dissonant cover of a hit by early-'60s Mexican pop group Los Spitfires and the first Girl in a Coma song to be sung in Spanish. In this way, and with the album's title (named after the Diaz sisters' grandfather's Tejano band), they're asserting their Latin identity while staking their claim as an utterly American rock act, much the way the Plugz did at the tail-end of the '70s when they repurposed "La Bamba" as a hardcore anthem.


Formed: 2001 in San Antonio, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Naming themselves in homage of the Smiths' song "Girlfriend in a Coma," Girl in a Coma started in San Antonio, TX, with bassist Jenn Alva and drummer Phanie Diaz, two best friends who bonded thanks to a shared interest in Nirvana and the Smiths. The duo endured several failed experiments in both band lineups and musical styles before discovering that Nina Diaz, Phanie's younger sister, possessed talent as a singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Though Nina was only 12 when she performed her first song...
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Trio B.C., Girl In a Coma
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