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December 9, 2023

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Bald Rapunzel
Diazepam (Dischord Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Opening with the soulful "Dark End of the Street," this D.C. combo showcases the vocal depth and dimensions of vocalist Bonnie Schlegel before ripping into the drum-fueled rocker instrumental, "Salute to Nova Scotia."

Able to keep a rocking beat with plenty of emotions and melody in the music alone, and quite endowed on the vocal front, when they both unite, the band is able stirs up the ruckus. "Storm" crashes against you like tidal waves on the rocks. Its low-key, punctual beats light up like the night sky when the drums lead it through crashing, wavy rock moments, but when the mood calls for toned down circulation, the music quickly changes paces without losing a beat.

"Three Weeks" leaves you with chills. The reluctant vocals meld with the confident guitars, and the sheltering drums whip up a stable beat that is fierce enough to rock out, but gentle enough to keep things at an emotional equilibrium.

On "Neptune" the band delivers an equally melodic and rocking number, while "Casa Azure" closes out the album with a jarring, haunting instrumental that winds you up throughout its six minute time span.

The beauty of Schlegel's vocals combined with the attack of the unit playing together as a team helps push the band past their mere two and a half years of operation. Playing like a mature outfit that has grown into their clothes, but leaving enough room left in the music to open doors to future growth spurts, Bald Rapunzel is the kind of band that can explode and weep without losing any fans. I'll give it a B.

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