Perched at a piano in a finished Worthington basement filled with music equipment, Jenny Lute is anxious. The Wet Darlings' incredibly gifted singer hasn't belted out notes at full blast for nearly four months after developing two polyps on her vocal cords, and she's about to let 'er rip.

Perched at a piano in a finished Worthington basement filled with music equipment, Jenny Lute is anxious. The Wet Darlings' incredibly gifted singer hasn't belted out notes at full blast for nearly four months after developing two polyps on her vocal cords, and she's about to let 'er rip.

"I wasn't really taking care of myself," Lute said, recalling the strenuous week of four performances in February that did her in.

The band had numerous gigs scheduled and were ready to release debut EP "X," a dazzling modern update of '90s alt-rock's finer strains seasoned by gospel, soul and retro pop. A second and third EP were in the works too, but all that got pushed back while they waited for Lute's throat to heal.

The interim was tedious; just when she had recovered from surgery to remove the first polyp, a second one sprang up due to improper vocal therapy techniques.

It was also tense. Doctors couldn't promise Lute's voice would ever sound the same - a chilling thought for a band that relies so heavily on her sunshine-and-hellfire country-fried swoons.

"They played our songs while operating so they would know: Be effing careful," Lute said.

Early in Lute's recovery, bandmates Aaron Bishara (drums), Bill Patterson (guitar) and brother Joe Patterson (bass) joked that she sounded like James Earl Jones. Now, as she leans toward the mic and takes a deep breath, they hold theirs.

Lute barrels into the chorus of "Vampires," towering then delicate, and nails every last nuance. Emboldened, the band burns through three more numbers, their singer running wild across Bill Patterson's rich arrangements as Bishara and Joe Patterson seethe and surge underneath.

The Wet Darlings are back - with a bang, not a whimper.

E-mail your local music news to cdeville@columbusalive.com