The Color Bars
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The Color Bars

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Rock


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Alright... I realize the title of this blog post is a bit hyperbolic. But, I've been sitting on The Color Bars' new release Kairos At Infinity for nearly a week now, trying to figure out how to review it, and I'm just stumped. It's really good. But, it's so crazy that even taking it all in is a challenge.

Don't get me wrong. It's super easy to enjoy each of these songs as they whiz, whirl, and swirl past me at each listen. They're all catchy and fun. It's just that anytime I've tried to get a 10,000 foot view of it for a review, I have struggled.

The one sentence that I have used a few times to describe the record to people is: This is what it might sound like if Matthew Sweet and The Beach Boys got high and went nuts in a Hello Kitty store.

So, let me try to slog through something more detailed and coherent to say here...

.... okay, I just sat silently without typing for five minutes. Obviously, I'm having a hard time being coherent.

Let me try again. I'll start with the lyrics, which are sublimely brilliant. They're evocative and surprising and psychedelic, while giving an acute perspective on whatever subject they're addressing in a given song. But, perhaps even more than the lyrics, what jumps out at me is how they're delivered. In truth, I have no idea what they're singing about 90 percent of the time. But, they are delivered with such a longing that they tug at my heart even when they're singing in Japanese (the very Matthew Sweet-esque "Ja Mata Shibuya") or about Dairy Queen (the falsetto disco pop of "Nepenthe Powered Tart").

With Kairos At Infinity The Colors Bars give us a post-modern, helium-driven ride through both pop history and pop future. Sometimes loping, sometimes danceable, sometimes driving and always poppy, the record is simultaneously confounding and irresistible. I can see everyone from the most jaded hipster to the most impressionable teenager to the most sophisticated listener enjoying this record.

Either that, or it will be completely missed by all parties, and if that happens it will be a shame, because they really do have their creative genius flowing on this record.

- Gary Miller, Seattle Powerpop - SEATTLE POWERPOP


With their move across country from New York to Seattle, The Color Bars gained newfound inspiration, as reflected in their second album, Kairos At Infinity. This disc is a veritable smorgasbord of styles, with the only constant being the band’s full-bodied harmonies, the fluid lines of bass player and lead vocalist Gerald Slevin, and the undeniable fact that every song on the album will make you feel so damn good! Styles range from the harmony-fest, languorous opener “ID Incinerator,” to the appropriately laid-back “Austin Town” to the sprightly indie pop of “Ja Mata Shibuya” and “The Gedankin Train” to the out and out discofied “Pretty Krinkled” and the should-be-monster-dance-hit “Nepenthe Powdered Tart,” on which Slevin does his best Maurice Gibb impersonation; yes, this approach has been mined by Scissor Sisters, but here it’s not nearly as cloying or obnoxious. Kairos At Infinity is an excellent sophomore effort by a band that deserves more attention from the mainstream press.

-David Bash, Amplifier Magazine - AMPLIFIER MAGAZINE


[Translated from German] Seattle's The Color Bars really did it for the author of these lines, so much so that he felt the need to listen to their album "Kairos At Infinity“ three times in a row.

The twelve songs are as varied as possible. While bringing to mind everything from ABBA, Elliott Smith, The Beach Boys, ELO and Ween, they use 22 instruments to get the best out of each number. With "Regluing You," they composed what could be a world-wide hit, one even THE BEATLES couldn't top. "Kairos At Infinity" gleams with fresh Retro-Pop ("Ja Mata Shibuya") and a sly smile.

-Marcesse Trabus, Flaming Youth, Berlin - FLAMING YOUTH MAGAZINE


Some people always see the bright side of life, no matter how dark it gets. The Color Bars, from Seattle, seem to be one of those bands. No matter the topic of choice, the trio always manages to work in a light, upbeat melody and falsetto vocals. From disco to indie rock, the Color Bars dabble in a bit of it all on their sophomore release, “Kairos At Infinity,” while inducing smiles and a few chuckles with their tongue-in-cheek humor.

-Corrine , Plug In Music



The Color Bars - PROSOPOPOEIA LP 2011
The Color Bars - KAIROS AT INFINITY LP 2007
The Color Bars - MAKING PLAYTHINGS LP 2004
The Color Bars - S/T EP 2003



Formed in 2003 by childhood friends Gerald Slevin and Dave Spelber, NYC-based The Color Bars has evolved into the six-piece spectacle of pop-rock orgaismica that has fans raving from New York to Tokyo. After signing to Japanese label 5D for their last album, Kairos at Infinty, and moving to Seattle WA, the Color Bars have returned to their hometown of Brooklyn NY where they are currently producing their 3rd LP entitled Prosopopoeia (pronounced pro-sop-uh-pee-ya). [The band is taking a hiatus from touring in Nov and Dec 2010 to finish the album]

They have toured extensively throughout the US, with an opening slot for the Brian Jonestown Massacre at SXSW as well as a successful tour of Japan under their belt. Some notable venues they've performed at include The Bowery Ballroom in NYC, The Middle East in Boston MA, Shibuya O West in Tokyo, Japan, and The Showbox in Seattle WA. They will be touring US in Spring of 2011 in support of the Feb. release of Prosopopoeia.

The Color Bars have had the pleasure of playing with friends The National and Bishop Allen and have received comparisons numerous comparisons to the layered 60s/70s-infused pop of Montreal and Beck as well as The Beatles and Beach Boys and other cannonical artists. Much like their records, their show never dissappoints. Every member sings in this band, which makes the already difficult challenge of not singing along next to impossible.

"With their new record "Kairos At Infinity," The Colors Bars give us a post-modern, helium-driven ride through both pop history and pop future. I can see everyone from the most jaded hipster to the most impressionable teenager to the most sophisticated listener enjoying this record. They really do have their creative genius flowing..."
-Gary Miller, Seattle Powerpop

The Color Bars' self-produced/self-released 1st record, "Making Playthings," garnered them an enthusiastic and dedicated following; their arrival on the NYC music scene having been described by The Village Voice as "a bigger breath of fresh air than an air vent in an underground sewer." Leaving their home megalopolis for the comparatively more intimate and serene Pacific NW, they recently spent a year in their Seattle home studio recording their 2nd self-produced/self-released album, "Kairos at Infinity." Exhibiting their signature blend of ornate arrangements and care-free, often tongue-in-cheek tunefulness, "Kairos" finds a slightly more mature band exploring an ever-broadening universe of sound. With influences as wide-ranging as The Kinks, Pavement, ELO and Fela Kuti, this record calls to mind the endlessly layered sound-scapes of the Flaming Lips, the eclectic and clever production of Beck, the imaginative quirkiness of the Elephant 6 collective, and, almost inevitably, the lush vocal harmonies of the Beach Boys and Beatles. Much like their studio work, their live show never disappoints; every member sings in this band, which makes the already difficult challenge of not singing along at a Color Bars show nearly impossible.