Four years ago, I stumbled onto Girl in a Coma—a strict accident, finding them in the first place—but after that discovery, keeping up with GIAC has become a habit, it has become compulsory, and a pleasure—as if their success has suddenly been tied to my own. Two years ago, after the release of Both Before I'm Gone, I caught up with them at the old Club 101 in El Paso, on one of their relentless tours. Nina Diaz was shy, barely uttering one word during the whole interview; Phanie D. and Jenn did most of the talking. But on stage, Nina flew into a rage, a presence so undeniable that the pathetic crowd of twenty scene kids in El Paso danced and moshed. I caught their show at Mohawk’s in Austin this past March, and this time, the huge bar was packed. Nina D. still goes wild on stage, but pulls back off it.
Phanie, Jenn, and Nina tour relentlessly, religiously—and they love their fans. They are the old school kind of homegrown band—tour, rock out, obtain fans through word of mouth. One person they impressed was rock legend Joan Jett, who signed them to her Blackheart Label, and now, this summer, out comes their second full length LP, Trio B.C., which is a reference to their grandfather’s Tejano band from the ‘50s.
Trio B.C. is a huge leap forward for the band, showing off polish, maturity, and measure. As their shows grow in crowd size, as Nina opens up, possessed on stage, as Jenn and Phanie blow out your ear drums, as their popularity swarms, Girl in a Coma is still the punk rock band from San Antonio that will break your face, while Nina D.’s voice will break your heart.
Su voz te captura, te enreda en su dedo y luego te lanza por la puerta. Loosely translated, Nina’s voice captures you, wraps you around her finger, and then shoves you out the door. Trio B.C. is an album that didn’t have seven years of preparation like their first one. Their sophomore effort is a studio album, a different product altogether, and benefits from the maturity of GIAC. And Nina...she makes you swoon. She makes me swoon anyway. Actually, any of the three make me swoon. But if Nina’s voice separates the sound of the band from all other female lead bands, Phanie’s drums and Jenn’s bass pull everything together. They stick together, fight for each other (depending on what you have read about their scrape in a Houston bar), and they rock juntos. Girl in a Coma is ready to blow up—in popularity that is.
“Joannie in the City” is the most likely to be a mainstream hit—complete with Joan Jett’s guitar and snarl on the track. They even cover “Ven Cerca,” a song originally performed by Los Spitfires—a first Spanish language song for the trio. But the rest of the LP is strong, benefiting from the girls’ individuality. Both LPs—Both Before I'm Gone and Trio B.C.—are two tattoos on your forearm—painful, pleasurable, and memorable. Trust me, the ink, the money, and the ticket for these three ladies, is definitely worth it.