Locals Only: The Lindsay

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

When The Lindsay's debut Dragged Out dropped in 2006, its reverb-drenched indie-rock anthems inspired a stronger consensus among Columbus music fans than any album in recent memory.

"I was personally very proud of it, but I was expecting at least some bad reviews," singer-bassist Gretchen Tepper said. "For a while I tried to look for them, and there kind of aren't any."

All the positive vibes translated to high expectations for the quartet - Tepper, singer-guitarist John Olexovitch, guitarist Tom Schmidt and drummer Jimmy Lavery.

But plans for tours, vinyl reissues and new singles went by the wayside thanks to almost three years of personal and professional upheaval. Moves, marriages, breakups and the dissolution of Manup Records helped to halt any momentum the band was building.

Now, at long last, The Lindsay seems to be back on solid ground. To herald their return, they'll release Syrup Bag, a seven-song collection of tracks from the past three years, with a show Friday at The Summit.

"Most of the recordings are very new," Olexovitch said, "but most of the songs are very old."

About six weeks ago - after booking an album-release show to give themselves the deadline they so desperately needed - the band gathered at Lavery's Marysville home to record the bulk of this set.

Compared to Dragged Out, the new EP is significantly rawer in terms of songwriting and production, a product of playing with so many abrasive bands in this city's rock 'n' roll dives, Olexovitch said.

"Nothin' to Lose" barrels along on rolling snare and scraped guitar strings, while "Band Meeting" angrily thumps through a tale of internal squabbling. Even the Vince Guaraldi-inspired chug of "Change My Oil," a holdover from the Dragged Out era that was originally intended for a 7-inch single on Manup, sounds relatively nasty.

With Syrup in the bag, the band has rediscovered its songwriting groove and expects to have enough new material ready to record a second full-length by Christmas and hopefully release it by spring. The songs in the works are significantly slower and quieter than the music on the new EP.

"You can't headbang to them or anything cool like that," Tepper said. "You don't want to play air guitar to them."

Whatever direction The Lindsay is headed, the band is just happy to be moving again at all.

"I'm hoping," Olexovitch said, "that the long period of inactivity is kind of over."

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

The Lindsay

When: 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23

Where: The Summit, Campus

Web: myspace.com/thelindsay