The San Antonio Texas trio, Girl in a Coma released their fourth album Exits & All the Rest back in November of 2011 to much critical praise but the band still has a minimal following. The band’s style is fairly straightforward, they are an indie punk band, which is a lot like a mainstream pop punk band but they are not still whining about high school girls. And within the different veins of punk music that exist that of Girl in A Coma is closest to that of The Smiths or if we are looking for a contemporary they would be closest to Magneta Lane.
If you need to put your finger on the one element that separates this indie punk band from others it’s Nina Diaz, that is to say, it’s her voice. Let’s face it there are a lot of people making garage punk (literally in their garages) and a lot of the instrumental portions of the this musical food are on par with what we are hearing on Exist & All the Rest. But what they are often missing is a lead vocalist who can actually sing, and that is what you get with Diaz. Her singing style is similar to that of an early Gwen Stefani, in a few ways, such as the way it rounds those tonal corners from crisp and steady golden to a rich and rumble. But unlike Stefani, Diaz doesn’t suffer from a high pitched nasal whine.
Exists & All the Rest starts off with the track Adjust which has a bit of a bluesy baseline to it but doesn’t properly demonstrate the band’s musical chops. It’s with Smarts and Cemetery Baby where you can hear the reboot punk and that dreamy haze inducing tone that is so excellently executed by the band. Especially in the way the lead singer adds a sort of weight to the chorus of Smarts. It’s a great song, and should be used as a benchmark for other bands who wish to indulge in 80s inspired punk.
The album may have come out a bit too late in the year to make it onto any ‘best of 2011’ lists but it will no doubt live on in the musical libraries of those who listened to it.