Paired down from a trio to a duo, the Columbus-based band Scrawl has kept a low profile ever since the release of 1998's Nature Film
. Dropped by Elektra Records shortly after Nature Film
, the group has gone back to the indie circuit on which it started some 15 years ago. Founding members singer-guitarist Marcy Mays and bassist Sue Harshe now trade off on playing keyboards to substitute for the lack of a drummer. While it's a different format for Scrawl -- which made its mark in the early '90s as a fierce power trio that foreshadowed the Riot Grrrl movement and paved the way for women rockers everywhere -- it still works. After all, Mays and Harshe struck out on their own in the mid-'90s as an acoustic duo once before, dubbing their act the "Foxcore, My Ass" tour. That the band, which comes off as a grittier Throwing Muses, has persevered is as much a tribute to its dedication to making music as it is to its loyal fanbase, which will undoubtedly be shouting for requests from its back catalog on indie labels such as Rough Trade and Simple Machines, as well as from its two albums for Elektra. And with five songs completed for a forthcoming album (on a label that's to be determined), Scrawl -- which regularly plays in the Columbus area, but hasn't played Cleveland in nearly two years -- will have some new material to preview as well. All this on a budget of royalty checks for the munificent sum of $6.31 (as Mays laments on the band's website).