King Of Spain
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King Of Spain

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If you're a neurotic doomsday theorist like us you'll spend most of your day worrying about whether your fellow earthlings have chosen the right path in life. Some people worry about climate change or global famine; we worry about the inevitable rise of bands influenced
by Arctic Monkeys. So, welcome King Of Spain with open arms. Reeking of Hefner and The Go-Betweens, this album stands as a homage to a great school of underground indie where books weren't just used for Ordinary Boys photoshoots, and an encyclopaedic knowledge of Orange Juice's back catalogue is grounds for marriage. 'Can I Touch?' is the ultimate muso love song about wanting to listen to The Flaming Lips with a girl, which is awesome. 8/10 - NME

"All in all a promising debut. Catchy varied tuneage coupled with lyrics that don’t make you wince. The King is dead, long live the king" 4/5 - Subba-Cultcha

"As close to underground indie-dom as you can get" -

"These four blokes from South London have captured that raw Britishness of a Libertines record better than twenty other bands who were trying harder could do" Bearded Magazine - Bearded Magazine

"Bright, jangly, thoughtful indie music that gets better and better with every listen. They have an LP out now called 'Battleships And Aeroplanes' on Shifty Disco records, which you'll be playing over and over again until everyone you know is sick of it and doesn't like you anymore." - William Ravenscroft

King of Spain are better men than I.

I know this for a fact because if our positions were reversed and I had been the one who wrote the riff for the song “Menagerie” then they wouldn’t be reviewing the album for you today. This is because, had I written a riff that perfect, I’d have retired on the spot, never bothering to record or write thereafter, spending all my days continuously playing it over and over. King of Spain, to their credit, likely looked at each other, nodded sagely at the quality, and went back to work writing even better songs.

It’s a good snapshot of the album, although trying to capture the breath of Battleships & Aeroplanes in one track is a fool’s task. The band flits from song to song, keeping the listener engaged but off-balance. This isn’t dodgy Now That’s What I Call Music! fodder - it’s quality writing and performance with a unique vision.

I love bands that can simultaneously write a good song and still do new things that surprise and draw me in. After a solid five enjoyable listens, however, a panic began to set in: how am I going to describe this music? It’s genius, no doubt, but what in the world does it sound like? Sea shanty rock? The Libertines take a holiday to the seashore? It defies description. You can get a sense of the eclectic nature of King Of Spain by the bands they namecheck in their songs. The Flaming Lips get a shout in the fab “Can I Touch?” and friendship with Daniel Johnston is pined for in “Bacon.”

The ominous stomp of “Not The Machine” will be five-starred by Danny Elfman fans who think the best way to spend a weekend is to see how many times they can ride Disney’s Haunted Mansion before the park closes. The beautifully delicate “Flying Machine” will soon be Hollywood’s most forwarded song as filmmakers desperately try to secure the rights and include it in their movie’s big romance scene. Opener “NY” just plain kicks ass.

The album goes a bit conventional (relatively speaking) in the second half, a welcome breather from chasing the band across the spectrum of the first six songs, then closes strong with “Soup Of The Day” and “No-One Knows You.”

It’s an eclectic listen so check out their MySpace page to see if you’re up for it. For those of you who like good songwriting that shoots left of center then you’re in for quite a treat. - Keath -

"Playing a weird mix of indie rock and sea shanties, these guys are sort of like a British Decemberists, and are definitely one to watch" -

"It is King of Spain whose star burns the brightest" -


Debut LP - Battleships and Aeroplanes (Shifty Disco)
released April 6th 2009

42 Xmas Songs - Christmas download single through Shifty Disco singles club - Dec 2008

Can I Touch? - Download single through Shifty Disco singles club - July 2007

Hazel - Released Jan 2007 on Shifty Disco 10 - A triple cd compilation celebrating ten years of the pioneering Oxford indie label.

Airplay on BBC Radio and Stationa in Spain and Luxembourg.



King Of Spain are a four piece hailing from Balham, South London. Their much anticipated debut album 'Battleships and Aeroplanes' is out now on pioneering Oxford label Shifty Disco. Album track Bacon has been selected by William Ravenscroft (son of the late, great John Peel) as one of his gems of 2008 and along with 'Menagerie', has received airplay on Tom Robinson’s BBC 6 Music show.

King Of Spain, who have been together for 3 years, were also featured on ShiftyDisco10, a triple CD compilation album celebrating the Indie label’s tenth birthday back in 2007. They also run 'flux=rad', a regular night at London's legendary 12 Bar Club aimed at showcasing the best in lo-fi/alternative music.