Girl in a Coma: Exits and all the Rest 

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While Trio B.C. (2009), the ladies' last collection of originals, had some grit and punch, it also had elements of an identity crisis as it danced between punk and rockabilly influences. Exits is the matured follow-up. It has polished rock tones and a much more focused sound, though it's still unafraid to shake you up. As Nina Díaz (vocals and guitar) confesses on "Sly," "I couldn't tell a lie to save my life", then boldly declares, "I broke his heart again and spit it back to him." Charming and ballsy, Exits is executed in true GIAC fashion. The control Díaz has over her voice commands the listener to pay attention from the opening track, "ADJust," to the closing of the album. With sister Phanie (drums) and friend Jenn Alva (bass), Díaz builds simple riffs and unthreatening melodies that escalate at just the right moments to achieve something grand and feisty. Maybe the two years spent on the project yielded the matured sound, but when Díaz informs us on "She Had a Plan," "Listen here my friend, the story never starts until you break your heart," it's almost as if she's letting us in on their secret.

★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

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