Alice in Chains, "Hollow" (out now, Virgin, aliceinchains.com)

Ivan & Alyosha, All the Times We Had (2/26, Dualtone, ivananalyosha.com)

The pretty melodies and spot-on harmonies

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Every Local Release

Alice in Chains, "Hollow" (out now, Virgin, aliceinchains.com)

Ivan & Alyosha, All the Times We Had (2/26, Dualtone, ivananalyosha.com)

The pretty melodies and spot-on harmonies on I&A's debut would have been more welcome in 2008, when the idea of Northwest city kids watering down rock with indie-folk harmonies was still fresh (and often exciting). It's not that the songs aren't, as the band sings, "easy to love"; it's that five years later, most of us have had our fill. On the other hand, Alice in Chains' "Hollow"—the teaser from their forthcoming LP—is a reminder that the band's harmonies are as distinctive as the Beach Boys' and CSNY's, but with a darker forecast that fewer bands have tried to emulate (with good reason), keeping the sound fresh and unquestionably AIC's. When more bands start looking for their own sound instead of settling for a pretty one, we'll have something new to celebrate. CHRIS KORNELIS (Ivan & Alyosha: Sat., Feb. 23, Showbox at the Market)

Mike Ensor and the Principles of Strife, As We Dangle From the Alloy Trees and Twirl in the Barb Wire (out now, self-released, ensormusic.com): Weirdo electro-pop that wins the award for eating up more word count with its band name and album title alone than any previous review. Bonus points for the excellent song titles, like "Mars Hill Ate My Baby." Recommended for fans of drugs, drum machines, and new wave. DAVE LAKE

* Zach Fleury, Tarzan Suite (out now, self-released, facebook.com/zach.fleury.5): On this plucky EP, Fleury's earthy, often falsetto voice interplays smartly with the Seattle String Mafia, an ensemble that produces far more polite backing music than its name implies. The fourth song on this brief EP is named "Lullaby," which aptly describes all of them: simple, soothing, and delightful. DANIEL PEARSON (Fri., Feb. 22, The Triple Door)

Grave Babies, Crusher (2/26, Hardly Art, hardlyart.com/gravebabies): Dense, noisy, and monochrome, Grave Babies' debut is exceedingly difficult to listen through, even at just 33 minutes long. But alienation is the band's m.o., and there are some indelible garage-punk tracks amid the fuzz. As with last spring's Gothdammit EP, patience—and repeat listens—pay off. ANDREW GOSPE (Sat., Feb. 23, The Highline)

Kinski, "Conflict Free Diamonds" (out now, Kill Rock Stars, soundcloud.com/killrockstars/kinski-conflict-free-diamonds): With a great (though traditional) guitar line, the song adds noise, then takes it away as singer Chris Martin spills thoughts about starting over. The first single from the band's KRS debut, Cosy Moments, it marks the beginning of a new, very accessible chapter for Kinski—and it sounds good on them. TODD HAMM (Fri., April 5, The Sunset)

Pony Time, Go Find Your Own (2/22, Per Se Records, soundcloud.com/per-se-records): The latest from this fuzz-pop duo favors the latter half of the hyphenation—it's the band's smoothest LP yet—while remaining firmly rooted to the garage. CK (Fri., Feb. 22, Black Lodge)

*Red Jacket Mine, Someone Else's Cake (out now, Fin Records, redjacketmine.net): The third studio album by this Seattle rock quartet is a departure from the pop-rock of its predecessors, as Lincoln Barr and company enter their British post-punk phase. ASHLEY ROE (Fri., Feb. 22, High Dive)

Spring the Trap, Spring the Trap (out now, self-released, reverbnation.com/springthetrapseattle.com): Fusing the upbeat, melodic feel of metal with the driving, soaring sound of good old-fashioned rock, Spring the Trap offers a perfect mix of energy and depth without becoming clichéd or overconfident. JOE WILLIAMS (Thurs., Feb. 21, High Dive)

Tempul, All the Windows of the World (2/22, self-released, tempul.com): From the vocals to the finely picked guitars to the sprawling structures, Tempul sounds a lot like Too— but really freaking good at it. Their ideas are fresher than those of their chai-metal fore-fathers, too. TH (Fri., Feb. 22, El Corazon)

* Timothy Robert Graham, The Hidden Rose (out now, self-released, timothyrobertgraham.com): The debut of this Seattle post-rock five-piece, headed by singer/songwriter Graham, combines heavy electric guitar and cymbals alongside the soothing hum of Graham's voice to create a tranquil and slightly psychedelic sound. ASHLEY ROE

 
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