Girlfriend In A Coma – Mojo Nixon

There have been entire compilation albums of Smiths cover versions. All released in tribute to the band who defined the Indie template so perfectly and then, after their split have held the resolve not to reform for 30 years.

At the time of writing only The Jam have also held out for as long. Every other major (and pretty minor) rock band of note has reformed. Gathering as much of their classic line up as possible for a victory lap in the 21st century if they’ve still go the key players drawing breath.

The reasons I’ve picked Mojo Nixon’s sneering down home white trash version of Girlfriend In A Coma are both celebratory and contradictory.

Firstly it’s a great song in any incarnation. Girlfriend in a Coma is one of the titles that scares the general populace when looking in at The Smiths. How can a song called ‘Girlfriend In A Coma’ be anything other than a mournful drag?

The Smiths version certainly isn’t and despite his best efforts to Bluegrassify (it’s a word!) it ironically when Mojo Nixon does his gutter punk spoken word schtick. Which he uses to cover his limited singing range, what comes over clearest is the quality of the song writing.

Now I don’t know if old Mojo is ‘in the closet’ as a Smiths fan or regarding anything else. Nor do I know if the bile is real when he refers to Mozza as ‘That fruitcake that sings for The Smiths”.  Even though it’s presented as a ‘U.S.A! U.S.A!’ retort of a diss track it’s an enjoyable listen because fundamentally It’s a great song.

It’s the boys from Northern England with the striking haircuts and the vintage guitars who come out of this ugly parody looking the best.

It was kind of obvious that they would really.


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