Action Painters
Gig Seeker Pro

Action Painters


Band Rock Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Sound The Sirens"

Pop usually can be defined by two very distinct meanings. Like many other “musical purists,� I enjoy using it to describe not the popularity of a song or the artists who are thrown onto TV in unbelievable frequencies, but a set of qualities that include everything from sing-a-long quality to good songwriting capabilities. In this sense, NYC’s Action Painters are injecting a bit of adrenaline into the genre.

Their refreshing individuality boils down to spine-tingling hooks and purely good songwriting that blows them past most amateur contemporaries. Their sound, not quite unforgettable but something worth remembering, undeniably belongs in dark clubs appreciated by (hopefully) a growing number of dancing fans.

With their first seven-song EP Chubby Dancer, following in the footsteps of others like the Unicorns, Action Painters do not force negativity and darkness out of their music and lyrics, as they understand what so many artists do not: creating music true to pop roots does not entail forcing one’s art to be all smiles and whipped cream. Tones of negativity in Chubby Dancer are by no means overwhelming, and instead make for a realness that is lost in mainstream pop and dwindling in indie pop as well.

Displaying this trait most recognizably, vocalist Tom Haslow possesses a jealousy-invoking clarity and a mind for toxic yet undemanding lyrics, obvious in tracks like “Easy 2 Pretend.� Even the chronology of Chubby Dancer is impressive for a band’s first EP- starting strong with the groove-infused “Absolutely Clear� and ending just as solidly with a tight live recording of “Chasing Pixies� (which best displays keyboardist Allison Zatarain’s talent).

Action Painters create and perform comfortably beyond their years, which will be what pushes them beyond the predictable fate of so many aspiring indie pop bands. Imaginably, their biggest challenge should only be ensuring that the releases to come in the future will be up to the same caliber as Chubby Dancer. - Sound The Sirens

"Wonka Vision Magazine"

Action Painters are a Brooklyn-based band that blends offbeat vocals (very similar to what you’d hear from Modest Mouse) with edgy songs that will make you want to dance. Are they fun? Yeah, they’re a lot of fun. But there’s still this inbred gritty quality to them that makes “Chubby Dancer� sound unpolished and, as a result, the EP sounds like you could have been right there when they were recording it and you’d hear almost the same exact thing. Which is a pretty cool accomplishment, you know?

“Absolutely Clear� starts “Chubby Dancer� off on the right chubby foot through its jumpy beat and crunchy, buzzing guitar alongside shaky vocals and a simple, infectious chorus. “Never Say I’m Sorry� is very similar in the sense that it also has jerky, bouncy music and yet another catchy and energetic chorus, although the vocals on parts of this song (most specifically on the verses) sound much more desperate and somewhat gloomy.

“Sooner or Later� has a humming synth and piano with twirling guitars and an overall cute tone, without losing its underlying grit. “Easy 2 Pretend� breaks a ground rule: no numbers in the place of words, for the love of all that is good and holy. Luckily, the title is the only thing about the song that doesn’t work, as the song itself is fast with a clinking beat and giddy vocals that’ll easily help you to forgive Action Painters for breaking the rules (but just this once). “Cold Dead Corner� caught my attention most off of “Chubby Dancer,� this being the track where Action Painters slow down and push out a spacey, melancholy song with whirring music and pretty, calm vocals.

“Chubby Dancer� feels like it fell right out of a hole in the wall club, and it should. Action Painters are a band to watch out for, mixing just enough dancy electricity with gritty attitude and vocals to make indie kids the world over swoon, at least a little bit. “Chubby Dancer� is fun, but more importantly it doesn’t end there. Its rawness sets it apart from other acts who sound too crystal clear and electronic, making it fun AND human. [By: Cassie Gressell] - Wonka Vision Magazine


"Brooklyn's Action Painters play catchy guitar-synth-power-pop full of happy riffs that will stick in your head longer than the Elmer's glue that crazy Rodney Carroll smeared in your hair in the 2nd Grade...don't listen to Action Painters if you have a cranky neighbor directly downstairs from you like we do. We tapped our toes way too much to this." -

"Spin Magazine"

For such a short record (clocking in at under thirty minutes), Chubby Dancer displays a pleasingly shocking bit of range. Action Painters do twinkly heartache with the best of them ("Cold Dead Corner”), and their up-tempo numbers (“Never Say I'm Sorry") are convincingly jagged. It's when they let the excitement of being young and romantic and stupid make them dizzy, though, that they excel. Album opener "Absolutely Clear" can't decide whether it wants to be classic rawk or post-punk, so Haslow lets his voice tremble and shake and splits the difference, landing somewhere frenetic and epic and sweet. It all sounds sort of tossed off, as if the band doesn't care, but buried beneath the artsy fury lies AM radio gold. Think the Replacements if they had given a damn more often. - Spin Magazine

"Baltimore City Paper"

This catchy, upbeat quintet out of Brooklyn, NY, takes what sounds like traditional power pop--huge hooks, pegged twinned guitar lines, catchy choruses--and rubs off the typical overproduced sheen and cosmetic prettiness via its own take on soul grittiness. What's left, as evident on its Chubby Dancer EP, is a ramshackle, dance-friendly indie rock that is refreshingly not readymade for One Tree Hill soundtrack fodder and boasts a focal-point frontman in guitarist/vocalist Tom Haslow, whose voice betrays a jaded lyricism that nicely compliments the Action Painters' imperfect songs about imperfect people. - Baltimore City Paper


It's too early to predict how this new Williamsburg band will effect the New York rock scene, but “Chubby Dancer” gives off an energy that will eventually need to be dealt with. The band's best track, “Absolutely Clear,” has the fresh, invigorating sound of early '70s power-pop, though it also has an alluring dark streak. - Newsday

"Fordham University' "The Paper""

Like a ragged Salvation Army version of Cheap Trick, these pop-rockers have created melodic anthems for the rest of us. Unlike similar minded indie-pop-rock acts out there, these guys manage to be both soulful and exciting at the same time. Songs either passionately slink by on a slick soul groove, pogo through your brain on surf-guitar licks hot enough to scorch Satan's ass, or mope their way into your ear with convincing charisma. The most mysterious part about this band is how young they are, after playing only three shows as a group they were given a spot in the 2006 CMJ Music Festival, but they have a knack for writing sophisticated melodies of a band twice their age. Songs like "Absolutely Clear" and "Chasing Pixies" wear their influences on their sleeves, but the band pulls all of them off with the sort of arena ready verve of a band that's been hardened by a million miles of tough road work. - Fordham University' "The Paper"

"Action Painters review"

Action Painters are emerging from Brooklyn's bourgeoning indie scene with soulful hooks, punk rock guitars and a gift for groove. Yes, they'll be compared to Franz and others bowing at the alter of T Heads and the Cure. But they kick our ass in a special, delicious way. Spacious, slinky verses give way to air guitar-worthy singalong choruses that smack hard and leave a handprint on the side of your face. Drop AP into your active summer playlist and stay cool while you get painted. - Mp3 Weekly

"Action Painters interview"

Action Painters interviewed by Read it here: -

"Featured Artists"

AP featured artist for May 2007 on! -


Chubby Dancer - 2007 Debut CD
Lay that Cable - 2009 EP





A fiercely unique young band that breaks down the pieces of New York Rock and resurrects them as a new, dangerous creature, Action Painters slay dragons with their soaring melodies, slinky grooves, and undeniable soul. They are from New York City.

In early 2006, Tom Haslow (guitar/vox) left NYC synth-pop darlings Unisex Salon to start Action Painters. After finding Amit Wehle (drums) and Allison Zatarain (keys) in the Casual Encounters section of Craigslist (wait, you play guitar too?), they began rehearsing in a frigid Brooklyn basement before moving to the Chelsea gallery district of Manhattan. Later, Joe Hankin (guitar) and Nic Daughtry (bass) joined, each adding incredible musical bravado to the proceedings. Over countless subterranean nights, they forged a sound that's part Live-at-Leeds mod swagger and part T-heads new wave shimmy, shaken and stirred with a bit of Memphis soul by way of Manchester.

The result: blistering, irresistible tunes carried by Haslow's confident, Verlainian tenor, skin-tight musicianship, cheeky lyrics, and deadly hooks. It's indie rock with a heart of gold and the eye of a tiger.

In their first year, the band gained a fervent following in NYC hotspots such as Mercury Lounge, Tiswas 2.0 at Annex, Pianos and Cake Shop, as well as at several universities and top Northeast clubs like TT The Bear’s in Boston and Ottobar in Baltimore. They were selected for the 2006 CMJ Music Festival after playing only three shows on the merit of their memorable tunes, explosive live show, and the fellatio skills of their drummer.

In the fall of 2006, Action Painters began work on their sprawling, 7-song debut, Chubby Dancer, with indie producer Ron A. Shaffer (Ambulance Ltd., Tricky). Released in June 2007, the record is a sparkling document of the first year of the group's young life. It showcases the band's gift for melody on songs like Sooner or Later and Cold Dead Corner, and its groove-punk soul on the addictive Absolutely Clear and the fiery, shout-along anthem Chasing Pixies.

In the months since its release, Chubby Dancer has received rave reviews from the press (, Deli Magazine, and Newsday, among others), and a growing buzz in the blogosphere. It’s been spun on East Village Radio and Band Boston (Boston’s most widely-downloaded music podcast), and tracks from the album have appeared in TV shows for Discovery Channel, Fuse, and TLC.

Action Painters are currently recording their first full-length record and playing shows throughout the Northeast United States. Check out their website for more info.