Tuesday, June 16, 2009

GIRL IN A COMA/Trio B.C. Review

When I heard GIRL IN A COMA's first album, Both Before I'm Gone (Blackheart Records), I was impressed by the songs, energy and musicianship but it wasn't enough to blow me away. I certainly loved the way they wore their musical influences on their sleeves and shot a youthful feminine energy into the tired male-dominated Alternative Rock scene. As much as I wanted to LOVE them, I could only LIKE them... alot.

Well, what a difference an album makes!

Trio B.C., the Texas trio's sophomore album, is a major leap forward for the band and one of the finest albums I've heard in eons. Instead of wearing their influences on their sleeves, they've covered them with tattoos and become a truly original band with their own unique GIAC sound. Vocalist/guitarist Nina Diaz may have a voice that might take a moment or two to get used to (sort of a cross 'tween Bjork and early Gwen Stefani), but she now sounds more confident and sexy than ever.

Alongside bandmates Jenn Alva (bass) and sister Phanie Diaz (drums), Nina and GIAC's songs are beautiful things, filled with atmosphere, emotion and a tenderness not found on their debut album. Now, this isn't 'tenderness' in a fake, convoluted American Idol kind of way. This is 'tenderness' that is raw, emotional and sometimes scary. It reaches into the listener's psyche and stirs things around a bit. It is comforting but also confrontational.

The melodies are both haunting and extremely memorable. The girls have traded their 'rock out' combat boots (figuratively speaking) for more comfortable footwear and tend to concentrate more on melody and song structure this time around, which helps to accent the songs' rich emotion, adding texture and a shimmering beauty to the tracks.

Standouts cuts include "Pink Lemonade", "Static Mind", "BB", "Vino" and "Baby Boy", but I've got to be honest: this is an album filled to the brim with standout tracks! My favorite songs change from day to day, so it's hard to really focus on one or two.

While not exactly playing the commercial card, Trio B.C. could be a huge monster of a record. Let me rephrase that: Trio B.C. IS a huge monster of a record. It's in my Top Ten list already and I don't see it leaving it's comfy position by the end of the year.

So, now I absolutely LOVE Girl In A Coma and anxiously await their 3rd album... although I reckon I'll be waiting awhile since this album is only two weeks old!

Life is good!
Stephen SPAZ Schnee

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