The Look is a band--a new band, actually, and a good band at that. Formerly residing in the Yakima area, the five-piece made the move to the city this past summer and have been busy recording and playing a smattering of local shows since.

Of course, being a rock quintet with a cute-as-hell female singer will immediately remind music fans of another local favorite, but let's kill all those Pretty Girls Make Graves comparisons right now.

"I've heard [the PGMG connection] a lot," says 22-year-old vocalist Andrea Valdez, "but I don't think we sound exactly alike. It's hard to define us. We blend together elements of jazz, rock, pop, dance, and experimental music. Sometimes I wonder if it's just because we are a female-fronted Seattle band."

Because she's been singing most of her life, Valdez' vocal style is perfected and confident, much like Pretty Girls' Andrea Zollo's. But Valdez has a more melodic presence, the product of growing up singing a range of styles, including jazz and gospel. Her voice is a softer complement to the band's more pointed and frenzied music. Eric Freistadt and Nick Lawrence's complex guitars alternately swirl moodily and do the staccato jangle over AJ Meyer's heavy bass lines. The occasional synthesizer and Abdon Valdez' drumming bring a clear beat to the otherwise thick bedlam of dynamic noise.

The band's new self-titled and self-released EP was recorded with the help of Burke Thomas (Pris, Vendetta Red) and Troy Tietjen. And while I'd love to hear a little more punch behind Valdez's vocals here, it's still an impressive collection of early material. The band, after all, is still honing its sound; they've only been together for about seven months.

With that newness comes wide-eyed ambition, and the Look is anxious to move forward and see what's next.

"We're always working on new material and hopefully we will record and release a full-length soon," says Andrea. "We have a lot of new songs that are dancey and fun, and we can't wait to share them with everyone."

The Look plays Graceland on Tuesday, December 14, with Matthew Shaw and Antlers. The show starts at 8:00 p.m. and costs $5 advance, $6 at the door. They'll also be playing a free show at Sureshot on University Avenue on Sunday, December 12, at 2:00 p.m.

Need more? You can hear my personal picks for the week on 107.7 The End every Monday and Friday at 8:30 a.m. during DJ No Name's The Morning Alternative.

Support The Stranger