Bald Rapunzel - Diazepam
Resin Records / Dischord

Diazepam is the active ingredient in Valium, and an apt title for Bald
Rapunzel's first (and last, since they recently broke up) LP.

Diazepam opens with vocalist Bonnie Schlegel's a capella rendition of "Dark End of the Street." Her husky voice sets you up to expect another girl and her piano combo, but expectations are quickly shattered when the second song, "Salute to Nova Scotia," begins. "Salute" is a driving math-rock instrumental that would fit perfectly with Schlegel's vocals. Unfortunately, Bald Rapunzel cannot seem to decide if they are going to focus on music or vocals.
The album's third song, "Ms. Leading," combines the math-rocky instrumentals that all DC bands must pass a course in before putting out an album with Schlegel's vocals to good results. Unfortunately, throughout the rest of the album, Bald Rapunzel never seem to produce anything that rises above mediocre -- the songs are all good and well-played, but are utterly forgettable. I have listened to this album dozens of times, and nothing really sticks out in my head except the album's a capella opener.
Diazepam, like the drug it is named for, is a sleepy experience that you will soon forget, even though it is better than average.
...john heisel...

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