Okay, here it is.
This is the end of the line for Chris McKay & The Critical Darlings.
I'm proud of what we did. I wish we could've done more in the time we had, but we did alright. Listen and hear for yourself.
I did my best to make a compilation that represented what the band did and what our shows felt like. I think I came as close as is possible.
Also included on Best Case Scenario is the final Critical Darlings recording ever, "Feels Like Yesterday", which has never been released anywhere.
Four other songs that never appeared on the official Critical Darlings albums are also included. In addition to that, there are alternate mixes of some of the more familiar songs, but I'll let people dig in to find out exactly what. I will say this. Hearing these songs in this context should put some of them into a different perspective.
I hope you'll give it a listen. Just hit play. And I hope that if you like it, you'll download it and help support local original music and the new music that I'll begin releasing soon.
And thanks to Manda McKay for allowing me to use one of my all-time favorite paintings for the cover! It seemed appropriate to have an image of a fresh fruit and part of a dead body together and turned into art.
Hopefully, this compilation will be the fruit coming from a band that is no more.
Yep. Those days are done. Kaput. Over.
I hope that those that were there with us will listen and have great memories. I hope those that are just discovering my music will feel like they're getting a crash course.
Special thanks to my non-blood brother Frank DeFreese for...well...everything. Some of that everything was truly "unspeakable".
"Say goodnight, Critical Darlings".
Goodnight, Critical Darlings.
Best Case Scenario: A Studiography, 2004 - 2014
Side One, 16:54
1. Best Case Scenario (McKay) (2:56)
2. That Excites Me (McKay) (2:13)
3. The Only Way (O’Gorman / McKay) (3:17)
4. Feels Like Yesterday (Previously Unreleased) (McKay) (3:58)
5. Sadder Day (DeFreese / McKay) (4:23)
Side Two, 20:22
6. Waiting For The Siren (Full Version, New Mix) (McKay) (4:32)
7. Scared Of Myself (McKay / O’Gorman) (4:27)
8. Tonight Never Happened (McKay / O’Gorman) (5:47)
9. Phony (McKay / O’Gorman) (5:33)
Side Three, 20:10
10. An Uncertain Flight (McKay) (4:13)
11. Towel Cape Song (DeFreese / McKay) (3:31)
12. Sometimes I’m Sam (McKay) (4:10)
13. The Best Of What’s Around (McKay) (4:07)
14. Happy Here And Now (McKay) (4:06)
Side Four, 18:23
15. Taking Its Toll (McKay / O’Gorman) (5:54)
16. Something Unseen (O’Gorman / McKay / Garson) (8:26)
17. Everything Must Go (McKay) (3:54)
About the album:
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 October 25, 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