It's so nice to type the words "Girl in a Coma" for something that has nothing to do with the San Antonio trio's altercation with some off-duty Houston police officers at Chances, which landed two band members a weekend in jail and a court date later this summer. It's especially nice because GIAC's new album Trio B.C. — the band's second for Joan Jett's Blackheart Records, after 2007's Both Before I'm Gone — is a richly textured document of alternative pop and ear-piercing punk, with slight hints of country, Latin music and shoegaze adding to the fun. Singer Nina Diaz coos about sucking some lucky boy's toes on the Cat Power-esque "El Monte" — pledging her love, but twisting the knife when she wonders, "Am I just another figure to call upon when you're bored?" — and coos like Siouxsie Sioux on the bewitching, Spanish-sung closer "Ven Cerca." "Baby Boy" is an eruption of mid-'90s Sonic Youth noise-punk, while the acoustic-powered "HH" and "In the Day" show the Smiths are never very far from the trio's thoughts. "Slaughter Lane" lets a little honky-tonk seep in, and boss Jett is both subject and background vocalist on the churning "Joannie in the City," one of the album's best rockers. Whether Lush sweet ("Trail") or Bikini Kill pissed ("Static Mind"), though, Trio B.C. is nothing short of fierce. But anyone who was at Chances the night of March 21 could have probably guessed that.
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