Would Morrissey Approve of Bands Like Girl in a Coma Who Take Their Names From His Songs?

San Antonio-based Girl in a Coma's 2007 album Both Before I'm Gone is pleasingly versatile: "Their Cell" resembles the swirling pop of Cocteau Twins, and "Clumsy Sky" begins like a Cat Power lullaby before morphing into a My Chemical Romance-esque rocker—which makes sense, considering that Joan Jett personally asked the all-female trio to be on her record label, Blackheart.

Jett's not Girl in a Coma's only famous fan, though. The band was hand-picked by Morrissey himself to open some shows—which means he obviously approves that the band's name comes from his band The Smiths' "Girlfriend in a Coma."

But what would Moz think of other bands borrowing his words for their monikers? An examination:


Refers to: Vauxhall & I, Morrissey's 1994 solo album

Sound: A gnarled, interesting amalgamation of electro-prog and supersonic screamo. Think Blood Brothers and other erudite metallic outfits.

Would Morrissey approve? No. Too loud and nonlinear for Moz's hook-loving pop sensibilities.


Refers to: Morrissey's solo hit "Suedehead"

Sound: A mix of androgynous glam, fey romantic longing and crunchy glitter-riffs; see: David Bowie, T. Rex, Roxy Music.

Would Morrissey approve? Duh. He even covered Suede's "My Insatiable One," the highest honor one can receive from the King of Mope.

Panic at the Disco

Refers to: A conflation of the title and lyrics ("Burn down the disco!") taken from The Smiths' song "Panic" (apparently; other sources claim the band's name comes from a song by Name Taken).

Sound: Over-the-top emo rock that's influenced by Fall Out Boy's grandiosity and whirligig riffs (and, lately, the Beatles too).

Would Morrissey approve? Probably not, as Mozzer always needs to be the most dramatic person in the room—and Panic at the Disco's collective angst is blinding.

Shakespear's Sister

Refers to: Smiths' "Shakespeare's Sister"

Sounds Like: After leaving kicky new-wave girl-group Bananarama, Siobhan Fahey embraced her inner goth with this poppy, dramatic duo, whose hits ranged from orchestral glamour ("Stay") to Cure-lite ("I Don't Care").

Would Morrissey approve? Totally. Shakespear's Sister nails the velvet-swathed dark-vamp aesthetic and owes quite a debt to Siouxsie Sioux—Moz's duet partner on the '90s rarity "Interlude."

Pretty Girls Make Graves

Refers to: A song of the same name found on The Smiths' 1984 self-titled debut LP

Sound: Post-hard-core throttling and melodic pop driven by Andrea Zollo's siren-like vocal bittersweets.

Would Morrissey approve? Yes. Closest in sound to Girl in a Coma, PGMG's calls-to-arms were urgent without being histrionic.

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Annie Zaleski
Contact: Annie Zaleski