Girl in a Coma, Exits & All the Rest

John Morthland

By John Morthland

on 11.01.11 in Reviews

Exits & All The Rest

Girl in a Coma
Richer, more assured and rawer

Each new album has represented a quantum leap forward for these Girls, and No. 4 is no different. Their punky sound has expanded considerably, with guitarist Nina Diaz employing all kinds of simple touches, scratching the strings so it sounds almost like musique concrete. The cymbal washes of her sister, drummer Phanie, play a similar role. A San Antonio band that began by basically just pounding it out has discovered — and mastered — texture. But while the music is richer and more assured, it also feels rawer; recorded in analog, the sound jumps out of the speakers. “Smart,” a definite departure for this group, has a bit of a poppy, folk-rock feel and the catchiest chorus Nina’s ever written. “Hope” finds them at their most abandoned, while “Sly” features a Mexicali guitar to bring them back down to earth. Nina’s remarkably mature voice displays comparable range and dynamics. She can be tender and she can be tough, a mama’s girl and a badass, sometimes all on the same song; as the likes of “So” demonstrates, she can even go Yoko on us. This is an excellent album, and leaves little doubt that they still have a great one in them.