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Girl in a Coma

Exits & All the Rest

(Blackheart; US: 1 Nov 2011; UK: 7 Nov 2011)

Do You Really Think She’ll Pull Through?

Girl in a Coma is a three piece Mexican-American all girl punkish rock band from Texas signed to Joan Jett’s record label. That’s apt, as the group has all of the sweaty vigor of Jett in her early days. And, yes, the group takes its name from the Smiths’ “Girlfriend in a Coma”, and, yes, there are times on Exits & All the Rest, particularly on the songs “Smart” and “So”, where the group has that singular jingle jangle sound that Johnny Marr trademarked. To further the Smiths connection, the group opened for Morrissey in 2007. Elsewhere, such as on the album’s openers “Adjust” and “One Eyed Fool”, the band harnesses the sound of PJ Harvey around her Rid of Me days.


That all means that there’s a lot going on, and the concoction comes off as a little lumpy and sonically dissonant on Exits & All the Rest, the band’s fourth full-length. However, there are great individual moments to be found, particularly “Cemetery Baby”, which has a low down and dirty swagger to it that would make Jett very proud. Meanwhile, the aforementioned “Smart” has a very British twee-pop vibe to it. It has the potential, and it deserves to be picked up for heavy rotation on radio stations everywhere. Ultimately, when it comes to the ramshackle sound that Girl in a Coma brings to the table—to crib a line from a certain Smiths song—“It’s serious”. A lot of painstaking labor that went into the songs that grace this album. While it might have been nice for the band to settle on one distinct style, Exits & All the Rest is a rocking, gritty, and yet uplifting and poppy, affair that is well worth hunting down for those lamenting the long lost sound of a woman named Polly Jean.

Rating:

Zachary Houle is a writer living in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He has been a Pushcart Prize nominee for his short fiction, and the recipient of a writing arts grant from the City of Ottawa. He has had journalism published in SPIN magazine, The National Post (Canada), Canadian Business, and more.


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Girl in a Coma – "Smart"
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