A few weeks ago, I devoted a post to my idol, Joan Jett. In that post, I mentioned that Joan had her own record label, Blackheart Records. This week, meet Girl in a Coma, one of the bands signed to Blackheart. A kickass trio out of San Antonio, Girl in a Coma consists of Phanie Diaz on drums, Jenn Alva on bass, and Phanie’s little sister, Nina Diaz, vocalist and guitarist. GIAC was formed after Phanie and Jenn, friends since junior high, bonded over their love of music. They decided to form a band but they needed a singer, so Phanie’s kid sister joined them when she was just 13. Once Nina joined, GIAC was born.
The band’s name is a tribute to The Smiths and their song, “Girlfriend in a Coma,” which is fitting considering that Girl in a Coma’s music definitely has a bit of that Morrissey vibe. They’ve even opened for Morrissey, back in 2007. They’ve also opened for a few other bands that you may have heard of – Tegan and Sara, The Pogues, and Social Distortion. Not bad at all for a trio of young women who started out playing talent shows and birthday parties.
Girl in a Coma’s debut album, Both Before I’m Gone, was released in 2007. It was highly praised by Alternative Press and feminist favorite Bust Magazine. Since then, they’ve released two original albums, Trio B.C. in 2009 and Exits & All the Rest in 2011, as well as an album filled with an eclectic group of cover songs, Adventures in Coverland. Check out their rendition of Patsy Cline’s “Walking After Midnight” in this video.
And for the David Bowie fans, here’s GIAC’s cover of “As the World Falls Down.”
But this is my personal favorite, a live performance of “Cherry Bomb” with none other than Cherie Currie of The Runaways.
Now I don’t want to leave you with the impression that GIAC is a one-trick pony, that they’re just a cover band. Far from it! Their latest album, Exits & All the Rest, features this single, “Smart.” Listen to it and you’ll hear that Morrissey/The Smiths vibe I mentioned, maybe even a little bit of Modern English and The Cure.
Then listen to “One Eyed Fool” from that same album.
The ladies of Girls in a Coma are pretty badass. I mean they’d have to be for Joan Jett to sign them and for Dave Navarro to call himself a fan. The self-described “all girl band, two-thirds gay, and all Latina” (Phanie and Jenn are both gay) just finished performing in Ireland and are now in Germany with Smashing Pumpkins. And a limited, numbered, blue vinyl edition of Both Before I’m Gone will be available at select stores on Record Store Day. GIAC will be back in the U.S. in May, playing shows in Texas, California, Arizona, and New Mexico.