The King Left
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The King Left


Band Alternative Rock


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NYC's newest indie rock outfit scores a rightous Radio 200 debut (D-98) with their first release injecting buoyant power pop with brooding, big city attitude. Top 30s at WDBM (East Lansing), WNHU (West Haven), WICB (Ithaca), KUMD (Duluth), KSJS (San Jose), KSDB (Manhattan), WBIM (Bridgewater), WCWP (Brookeville), WCLH (Wilkes- Barre), WMTS (Murfreesboro), WHRW (Binghamton), KYMC (Chesterfield), WWHR (Bowling Green), WTTU (Cookesville), more. - CMJ New Music Report

5 Stars (out of 5)

Radio stations have shown the King Left a lot of love lately – more than 100 college stations in North America added the band’s self-titled EP to its playlist, earning the act praise from everyone from college-radio DJs to indie and mainstream press. But are these New Yorkers deserving of this praise and attention? And more importantly, are they worthy of your eardrums?

You bet your sweet ass they are.

The King Left create quick, sing-a-long power pop with a distinct auditory stamp delivered courtesy of singer/guitarist Corey Goss’s wavering, urgent vocals, Mark Grissom’s beautifully melodic guitar parts, Ian Bullett’s slithery bass lines, and Graham Rothenberg’s pulsing drum work. The King takes that Beatles sound, throws in some Beach Boys, and its own slick wit to create memorable, down on the upside tunes.

Produced by Nightmare of You drummer Sammy Siegler (formerly of CIV, Gorilla Biscuits) and engineered by Ian Love (Rival Schools, Cardia), The King Left was boasts nearly flawless production values. Once you dive into the disc, a Pink Panther-meets-Hawaii Five-O intro kick starts The King’s pride ‘n glory, tongue-in-cheek track, “I Have to Let You Win (Stop Trying),” before Goss’s words take the reigns with lines like, “How do you deal with the stress / Of being so well dressed / The way you tie your tie / Did I mention you look so rehearsed / You mirror must be tired of watching you watch him” and “Still I must know whoever does your catering / Top notch / Don’t the bereaved grieve better with free scotch”.

“Like You’re Not My Trophy” is a frantic dancer from Pulp Fiction with big guitars, desperate choruses, and enough fiery energy to make even the most dejected shoegazer twitch a knee in rhythm. “How the Whale Got His Throat,” title taken from Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, re-highlights Goss’s shakey-but-sturdy delivery, introduce a few keys and tambourine clashes, adding together to create a devilishly catchy, sunshiney track.

The King Left EP is finding a $20 bill in your pocket, tripping your face off, and enjoying the most satisfying afternoon delight you could have ever imagined. In short: a must have.


This excellent three song EP of indie rock/pop leaves me breathlessly wanting more! Corey Goss turns in superb vocal performances that are perfect for the songs and for this kind of music. From the tantalizing stutter, sexy, judiciously used vibrato, chorus harmonies, and great use of dynamics in "I Have To Let You Win (Stop Trying)" to the gentler, retro-pop overtones of "How The Whale Got His Throat", there's not a wasted breath or note here. Here's hoping they get a full length out soon. In the meantime, treat yourself to this rich little bon-bon. It's only five bucks. You can even listen to all three full songs via their website. -

Sounds like the fast-paced neo-alt-rock wave that Jet's currently riding, which is strange for a band with roots in the psychedelic utopia of Ithaca. - The Ithacan

It's official: A life in the movies is less practical than rock stardom. The King Left -- melodic indie rockers (and then-film students) from Ithaca, New York, came together in 2003 to record a tune for a senior thesis film. "I wrote songs in college instead of making movies," says vocalist/guitarist Corey Oliver, "which is what I was actually going to school for." After graduation, a shift in career goals and a year playing upstate, the four-piece relocated to New York City.

Their catchiness is exceeded only by how fast they're catching on. They've recorded two EPs with former Rival Schools gurus Sammy Siegler (Nightmare Of You) and Ian Love, as well as contributing cuts to an episode of "Close To Home." "A lot of bands regurgitate these played, old hooks, relying on looks to win the hearts of pretty grils in small towns," says Oliver. "We're going to play what we want to hear and hopefully you'll relate." - Alternative Press


"New York Nothing" EP - 2008
"The King Left" EP - 2005
"The End Sessions" EP - 2005
"Say Shucks And Mean It" EP - 2004
"Counting Ghosts" Single - 2003



Most childhood friendships have a way of dissipating as life progresses. For The King Left, however, these youthful relationships were the start of a strong musical journey. Bassist Ian Bullett, guitarist Mark Grissom and drummer Graham Rothenberg all grew up in the blue-collar town of Elmira, New York – famous for being the place Mark Twain was both married and buried – before sojourning to Ithaca College. The group of friends officially became a band after being recruited by classmate Corey Oliver to help finish a senior film project. It was in this session The King Left laid the early stages of what would become “Counting Ghosts.”

The group promptly relocated to the boroughs of New York City after graduation. Gigging around Gotham, The King Left caused enough commotion to get asked out on a tour with Nightmare Of You. NOY’s drummer (and ex-member of Rival Schools, CIV and Gorilla Biscuits), Sammy Siegler, took the guys into the studio to record their debut, self-titled EP and brought Ian Love (Rival Schools) along to engineer the sessions. The King Left self-released the three-song player on Dimestore Records in 2006, quickly breaking the Top 75 on the CMJ Radio 200 chart with hundreds of radio stations playing “I Have To Let You Win (Stop Trying).” Alternative Press subsequently featured the band in their “AP&R: The Best Unsigned Bands” section, The Daily Chorus named them one of the top 30 unsigned bands in the country and gave the release five out of five stars.

The King Left is following up the success of their self-titled release with the New York Nothing EP, again recorded by Sammy Siegler, engineered by Ian love and self-released on Dimestore Records. All four new songs grew the band from the previous cornucopia of Brit rock influences to full textural soundscapes. “The Storm In A Teacup” brought a new breed of fans as bloggers began to clamor over the song and radio championed the single to break CMJ’s Top 100. This led to opening slots for We Are Scientists, Joseph Arthur, Secret Machines, Tokyo Police Club, The Long Blondes, Snowden, Le Loup, Film School and many others.

Singer/Guitarist – Corey Oliver
Guitarist – Mark Grissom
Bassist – Ian Bullett
Drummer – Graham Rothenberg