- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 30, 2001

SR-71 frontman Mitch Allan quickly named Laughing Colors when he was asked in May who the next up-and-coming local area band might be.
Mr. Allan, queried at WHSTival 2001, might be a bit biased, but he isn't the only one shouting the group's praises. (He co-produced several of the Laughing Colors albums.)
The buzz has been building during three studio albums, two live ones and stellar concert and record sales (more than 30,000 copies of the band's five albums have been sold). With the release of its new album and a summer of touring ahead, Laughing Colors takes the stage Tuesday at the State Theatre in Falls Church.
"We've always felt like our live shows are our bread and butter," says Dave Tieff, the band's lead singer and guitarist. "That's really what the band is about because we play so frequently."
Six years of touring, recording and more touring (the band has averaged three shows a week since its existence) have made Laughing Colors a fixture on the D.C.-Baltimore music scene. Like many local bands, it has roots stretching back to high school, when Mr. Tieff, guitarist Corey Hall and bassist Dan Welsh were classmates at Broadneck High School in Annapolis in the early 1990s.
"The funny thing is I look back on it, and it seems like messing around, even though we wanted to take it seriously," Mr. Tieff says from his home in Baltimore. They called themselves No Such Thing as teen-agers but had to change their name when they realized another band had already claimed it.
"Laughing Colors," a song Mr. Tieff wrote when he was younger (and disparages now), became the band's new name.
Not until 1995, though, did the band officially come together with the addition of drummer Will Dorsey Jr.
The band has taken some interesting turns since then. It's played the Van Warped Tour, the WHFStival and even won an online contest sponsored by ICast to meet with five record labels, although a deal never materialized.
Staying independent has kept the four close to their fan base, even as Laughing Colors watches peers and friends, such as SR-71 and Good Charlotte, start to break nationally.
The band's heavy funk rock sound (mixed in with doses of classic rock and rap-style vocal passages) has made Laughing Colors' new release, "Nothing But Sky," one of the strongest selections in its catalog. The album has a more layered feel than past ones and marks a different direction for a quartet more admired for its live show than its albums.
Two thousand copies have been sold since the album's release June 5, and it debuted at No. 20 on the Baltimore SoundScan charts.
"You want to stick to your guns but evolve at the same time," Mr. Tieff says. "I think it's a pretty subtle change, but definitely people have noticed. … This is really a healthy direction for us."

WHAT: Laughing Colors with Rotoglow, Juniper Lane and the Excentrics
WHERE: State Theatre, 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church
WHEN: Doors open at 7 p.m. Tuesday
TICKETS: $12
PHONE: 703/237-0300 for information, 202/432-SEAT for tickets.

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