October 19, 2010 - Blackheart
Girl In A Coma’s 2009 release, Trio B.C., found the all-female Texas trio expanding from the Morrissey-influenced rockabilly/punk of their debut to a broader sound that encompassed country, Tejano, Social Distortion-esque roots rock and more. The tight but swinging rhythm section of bassist Jenn Alva and drummer Phanie Diaz provided an ideal platform for lead vocalist/guitarist (and Phanie’s sister) Nina Diaz’s wailing vocals and stinging riffs. On this disc, which collects tracks from three limited-edition singles and adds a few bonus cuts, the group shows their range even more effectively through carefully (and wisely) chosen covers.
Opening with a nod to their Mexican heritage, they cover Selena’s “Si Una Vez” as a blues-rock stomp before turning way down for a melancholy version of the Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and an almost acoustic take on Joy Division’s “Transmission,” forgoing the original’s shouty catharsis (“Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance to the radio”) for a soft but no less intense reading. They also pay tribute to a rock ’n’ roll hero who shares their Mexican-American heritage at the disc’s midpoint, roaring through a punkified version of Ritchie Valens’ “Come On, Let’s Go” that’ll make you wanna kick holes in the walls.
Even when they choose a less-than-awesome song (Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”), the ladies make it their own, in this case by adding a heavy dose of garage-psych fuzz and some Sonic Youth-ish dissonance from Nina Diaz’s searing Telecaster. The disc closes with two originals: the fierce, Spanish-language “Yo Oigo,” written for the movie Machete, and an acoustic but hardly subdued version of Trio B.C.’s opener, “BB.”