Bands to Watch: The Wet Darlings

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From the Bands to Watch: The Wet Darlings edition

If the Wet Darlings' sound is sexpot rock, the last song on their first EP is a bittersweet morning after.

"Ordinary Sunshine" is a sassy, sad slow tune that closes the five-song rowdy rock album "X." It lets listeners savor the volcano of vocal power stored in the lungs of lead singer Jenny Lute.

Expect to hear more like it on the Wet Darlings' second album, "So Long, Lover." The six-song compilation, set to be released March 15, has two slower tunes and some string and acoustic arrangements.

"It has a few treats you won't get at a live show," said songwriter and guitarist Bill Patterson. "I like to write songs that grab you by the heart and twist a little bit."

Lute's voice was made for that teasing tug.

"A lot of those songs [on 'X'] were written pre-Jenny," Patterson said. "I think this second [album] showcases what she does really well, and you can hear the growth of the band."

Growing, metaphorically speaking, is exactly what Patterson, Lute, drummer Aaron Bishara and bassist Joe Patterson did last year.

"2010 was us trying to establish ourselves," Patterson said. "Releasing our first album was a big deal, and it was really well received. We got a great response, and people seemed to be excited we were here. We really came into our own sound."

Singles "Bicycle" and "Vampires" received enthusiastic reviews, the band opened for British indie band Deluka in July and Lute sang with The Posies when the alt-rockers came to town.

The year wasn't without trials, though - Lute had surgery for polyps on her vocal cords, and the band lost a friend in CD101 DJ "Andyman" Davis.

In 2011, the band is looking forward to gigs beyond Columbus and filming a video for the title track of "So Long, Lover," which was recorded around the same time as "X."

"It's like how 'The Lord of the Rings' was all filmed at the same time," Patterson joked.

This leaves them eager to release a third EP, but when will depend on the bane of every burgeoning band's existence: finances.

Regardless, Columbus' sexiest foursome doesn't plan to stop rocking innocence and innuendo anytime soon.