Trio B.C. from Girl in a
Reviewed by Nick Manix
With their new CD, Trio B.C., the all-female
Texas rock band Girl in a Coma seems to have dodged what some have
called "the sophomore slump" - which many artists with actual
talent and substance seem to encounter. Artists such as Puff Daddy,
Beyonce and The Killers have gone double- or triple-platinum with their
debut album, only to see record sales drastically drop upon the release
of their follow-up effort.
Some artists have fallen, all
together, into a musical abyss and utter obscurity. The reasons
for this phenomenon are unknown, but the short-comings are usually
blamed on the record companies themselves.
For example, George Michael took
Sony to court, stating that his creativity was being stifled. And
Joan Osborne - who has released 10 albums on nine different labels -
has yet to have a Top Five hit since 1995's “One of Us.”
But Girl in a Coma (GIAC) has
signed with an indie label - something that more and more artists are
doing these days in order to have more creative freedom. Signed
by Kenny Laguna and Joan Jett to their record label, Blackheart
Records, GIAC released their first album, Both
Before I'm Gone, to critical acclaim.
B.C. has hit the market, and these women
from San Antonio show no signs of becoming another causality of that
dreaded sophomore slump. For girls of such a young age, they come off
as being a more experienced and seasoned band.
It's hard to place a finger
on their exact genre of music - it's part rock, punk, country,
rockabilly, blues and even Tex-Mex. And it works!
Nina's lyrics and vocals are
surprisingly mature for someone her age. And combined with
Phina's kickin' percussion and Jenn's hybrid of rock and jazz on bass,
the group presents listeners with a creative endeavor that is rarely
seen in the cookie cutter "music industry" anymore.
Opening the album with the
gritty and raw track "BB", the song ends telling listeners
that "we'll find our way." In doing so, GIAC sets the
stage for a ride that guarantees to please.
Highlights of the album
include "Vino," which is almost reminiscent of Mazzy Star and
Baby Boy - it's a sweet, almost obsessive, and self-deprecating love
song full of the yearning and angst not heard since the hey day of The
Smiths. Even Joan Jett makes an appearance, backing vocals on
the entertaining "Joannie in the City."
B.C. is a solid album with hints of
Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, and Concrete
Blonde - and the Tex-Mex sound of San Antonio
blended in beautifully - rewarding listeners with something truly
amazing: an album you can listen to from beginning to end.
Nick Manix is a professional writer and journalist
who splits his time between Central Texas and New Orleans.
(Girl in a Coma photo by Adam Stockstill; lbum
cover image courtesy Ken Phillips Group)