The Critical Darlings began not long after the death of my father in late 2003. I had recorded some demos to share with friends, and one night, at a rock trivia match in Athens, Georgia, one of those friends (Tom Bavis) said, "Nice songs. Too bad they don't have a real drummer" while he pointed at himself. I didn't even know he was a drummer.
The band really helped me deal with those difficult times and got me back on my feet.
After drafting my high school friend Frank DeFreese, and getting him to move to Athens, The Critical Darlings began officially in 2004. We were just having a good time. We didn't look for shows, but we accepted them, and they kept coming. Not too many. Not too few.
After a while, the offers got better, and we decided that maybe we'd record. We did.
We released our first album, C'mon, Accept Your Joy in 2005, and after some lineup changes, released our final album in 2009.
Lots happened in between. Feel free to visit www.chrismckay.com
if you wanna dig through the history.
We opened for bands as disparate as A Flock Of Seagulls and King's X.
We made a lot of friends and we put on some pretty rocking' shows.
When it came time to release this compilation, I wanted it to not only be a great overview of what the band did, but I wanted it to include the final Critical Darlings recording, "Feels Like Yesterday". It also includes 3 new tracks that I did on my own, and ends with my home recording of a song that would've been on the 3rd Darlings album.
I apologize if your favorite didn't make the cut. A few of mine didn't make it either. Seek out the complete original albums to hear everything.
I tried to pace this compilation as I would a live show and I think it puts the songs into different environments than the original releases did. There are some sonic surprises thrown in, too.
Even though people generally don't do it anymore, this album is a 4 sided double album and it's intended to be heard in that manner. You'll likely get different insights into the band and music if you listen to it as intended.
I hope you like it. Thank you to everyone that booked us, came to a show, shouted about us through your megaphones, or supported us in anyway.
I will continue on performing and playing solo and with bands, but The Critical Darlings can now, officially, be tossed into the "where are they now" file. That is, of course, if it can be considered that we were ever there.
released 25 October 2014
See individual songs for specific performer information for each song.
This is a list of people that played with The Critical Darlings at shows over the years. Thank you.
Chris McKay (2004 - 2014, Lead Vocals, Guitar)
Tom Bavis (2004 - 2005, Drums, Backup Vocals)
Frank DeFreese (2004 - 2010, Bass)
Michael Rietveld (2005 - 2007, Drums)
Joe Orr (2006 - 2009, Guitar, Vocals)
Josh Couillard (2007, 2010, Drums)
Joshua Harrison (2007 - 2009, Drums, Vocals)
Andy Ainsworth (2010, Guitar)
Kate Powell (2011, Keyboards, Vocals)
Alex Powell (2011 -2012, Drums)
Mark Crowley (2011, Bass)
Robert Caruthers (2011, Guitar)
Ash Miltiades (2011 - 2012, Guitar, Vocals)
Adam West (2011 - 2012, Bass)
Produced by Chris McKay, David Barbe, Tom Bavis, and Kyle Spence.
Recorded by Chris McKay, David Barbe, Asa Leffer, and Kyle Spence.
Cover art by Manda McKay