Girl in a Coma
Stateside had the distinct pleasure of catching Girl in a Coma in support of The Wedding Present recently, and was well impressed with the young, San Antonio, Texas-based trio.
Formed by Jenn Alva (bass) and Phanie Diaz (drums) when the girls were junior high school Morrissey fanatics (hence the allusion to late Smiths single "Girlfriend in a Coma"), the fledgling rhythm section recruited Phanie's little sister Nina, then age twelve, to sing and play guitar. After a few years spent honing its craft, the band was able to get a tape to Moz collaborator Boz Boorer, who brought the girls across the pond to record a proper demo.
Fast-forward to 2006 and the band had the opportunity to play in front of Joan Jett at New York's Knitting Factory. Jett, as the legend goes, was wowed and signed the group to her label, Blackheart Records. The resulting "Both Before I'm Gone" earned modest critical praise and, more importantly, Girl in a Coma was able to hit the road and win loyal fans by headlining all-ages clubs and play larger venues opening for the likes of The Pogues, Social Distortion and Tegan and Sara. They also toured with their hero, one Stephen Morrissey, in both Europe and the U.S.
The Wedding Present opener found Girl in a Coma in fine form as they played to a small group of their fans and a larger contingent of older concertgoers who were buying time before the headliners. Jenn's serpentine bass lines and Phanie's assured drumming laid a solid foundation for Nina's bewitched vocals and metallic guitar. The set drew on material from last year's "Trio B.C." as it touched on 50's rockabilly, 70s punk/post-punk and 90's grunge.
Girl in a Coma will release the third volume of its "Adventures in Coverland" series on vinyl on April 27. The tracks are "Come On, Let's Go", (Richie Valens), "Walkin' After Midnight" (Patsy Cline) and "Femme Fatale" (The Velvet Underground).