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Chris McKay / Press

“Chris McKay and The Critical Darlings perform music that will stand the test of time.”

“Chris McKay And The Critical Darlings' Satisfactionista is...a smoothie full of delicious guitar-driven melodies and delectable vocal harmonies. The band's latest release is chock full of stadium-sized guitar meltdowns and super-catchy hooks that go on for days.”

“Chris McKay & The Critical Darlings never cease to pull me to my feet and put a smile on my face. They've got a style that hearkens back to the days of classic rock, and there's a certain edgy joy in all of their lyrics which is evident in every one of their performances.”

“Chris McKay knows how to do rock ’n’ roll just right.”

“What The Critical Darlings want is your attention, and they have no problem getting and keeping that. (Satisfactionista) is a record full of battle-tested lyrics on top of charismatic riff-rock with a mound of confidence and absolutely zero pretensions.”

"The Critical Darlings serve up milkshake-smooth power-pop loaded with chiming guitars, slinky basslines and percussion that issues its exclamations without drowning out anything. McKay’s voice is a steady instrument that occasionally tiptoes toward a Michael Jackson falsetto, but it mostly resides consistently in an at-ease tenor with just enough grit to remind you this is rock music.

“I highly recommend you see The Critical Darlings live. As hard as you try, you just can't get the same experience...from a recorded version. Welcome to the circus ladies and gentlemen.”

“Chris McKay And The Critical Darlings absolutely blew me away (at Atlantis). They were by far the best band and got the best audience reaction, too. Where all of the other too-cool-to-care hipsters were just contrived or had no stage presence, these guys had a presence, with just enough spectacle.”

“(The Critical Darlings) took complete command of the 40 Watt and its audience; immediately the timeless element came in with wailing solos and thoughtful lyrics and progressions.”

"Chris McKay is one of the best pure songwriters in the South today. He is amazingly prolific and multi dimensional."

Art Boerke - The Legendary Rockafella's (Columbia, SC)

“(The first pressing of) The Critical Darlings newest album sold out so fast that it was gone before it was officially released. Yup, no hard copies left in sight... (Satisfactionista is) simple and refined, subversive and tricky...”

“If you love a little attitude thrown over a blanketing swirl of lush guitars and driving rhythms, then (C'mon, Accept Your Joy) is for you. If you like Rock 'N' Roll that has attitude and makes you feel like jumping up and dancing along with the band, then this is for you.”

“I heard several bands play (at Legion Field), but the very last act of the night, Chris McKay & the Critical Darlings, blew me away. They brought a whole new energy to the stage that I loved. Truly, their stage presence was spectacular, and their talent was undeniable.”

“Chris McKay has a voice that is a record executive's wet dream. It's very accessible and has tons of hooks.”

"Satisfactionista is a full-on onslaught of rock and roll like you used to hear. It seems people are scared of rocking like the Rolling Stones once did, but (this) is something to see.

"The Critical Darlings are a great little buzz-worthy band from Athens."

“Pure rock & roll. Not many bands can say they actually accomplish that today without looking like fools. (The Critical Darlings) surpass that with streaking colors. Rock & roll is right here to stay. Right on.”

Richie Auriemma - Reverb Nation

"It’s always nice to see acts hone, refine and grow in Athens’ fertile musical soil and that's just what The Critical Darlings have done. They're sharp, bright and a hell of a lot of fun."

"Let me tell you, all in attendance of tonight's show would agree that The Critical Darlings are a band with the tunes, musicianship, and stage presence to not just be a local flash in the pan, but a band that can make it in the real world, the rest of the world, and the world that GETS rock."

Michael Guthrie - Michael Guthrie Band

"The Critical Darlings know that rock and roll is more than just being loud, it's about knowing what can get your message across."

"The Critical Darlings are a very cool and original sounding power pop band who certainly embrace their classic rock roots of the 70s on C`mon, Accept Your Joy. They have our attention because of this ambition to strike out and locate songs in their band structure that are more than just `more good songs`.

“The Critical Darlings' C’mon, Accept Your Joy could have been recorded in 1969 or 2030. It samples many sub-genres but it always remains Rock first and foremost. McKay has the skill to give you something unique and, at the same time, give you something you swear you’ve heard before.”

“Satisfactionista is a slick, tight record with multiple layers and extreme danceability.”

"Satisfactionista, the second full-length album from the Athens' power popsters is a refreshing and upbeat blend of feel good power-pop and seriously '70s classic rock."

“(When a band has) a singer that looks like Mick Jagger who bounces around like he's Freddie Mercury, (people) pay attention. The Critical Darlings impressed me with their professionalism and their sense of humor.”

"The Critical Darlings have taken the Athens pop scene by storm over the past year. Armed with tight harmonies and airtight songwriting, the band has... gathered a growing legion of fans."

"The Critical Darlings have developed quite a following, going from relative obscurity... to rave reviews."

“If you haven’t had the privilege of experiencing Chris McKay And The Critical Darlings, I'm truly sorry. But there’s hope for you yet. Their silky vocals and electric guitar riffs merge the familiar and daring to create a power pop sound the world’s not heard before. If you’ve heard the Darlings, I don’t have to tell you..they are indeed adding another name to the long list of successful bands hailing from the Classic City.”

"The Critical Darlings are gaining serious popularity...in Poland, Germany and all across the United States."

"For an hour, The Critical Darlings played to a crowd that “braved” the hurricane to show up in the college’s cafeteria. The band is a throwback to the way rock should be played – with enthusiasm and showmanship, as well as crisp and inventive writing."

“(Satisfactionista) is how rock used to sound and where it's headed.”

“You've never seen a high energy rock show until you've seen them The Critical Darlings in action! Trust me, you won't want to miss them. They are a sight to see and delectable treat to hear!”

“McKay pulls out all the stops ... incendiary guitar solo(s) and impassioned singing.”

"The Critical Darlings have a talent for big, clever, Beatles-informed power pop, like if Jeff Lynne produced Cheap Trick. There are enough gems on this album, like "Towel Cape Song," "Phony" and "Colors In Black & White," that I'm thankful that this dandy little combo exists."

"The Critical Darlings wowed the crowd with their catchy guitar hooks and thoughtful lyrics."

Alec Wooden - The M.U.S.I.C. Project

“If you’re in the area and you hear of Chris McKay playing, it is a must to go see him and be prepared to expect the unexpected.”

Wormgear Magazine

“Patented, grab you by the neck guitar hooks that most bands don’t have a clue how to write.”

“Chris is one of the great talents culled from the Athens music machine...Chris McKay is the f***kin’ bomb!”

Ira Miller - Forsyth News

“(Satisfactionista) is best for those days when the sky is bright and sunny, you've got your All-Stars on, a soft drink in one hand and a skateboard in the other.”

"Chris McKay And The Critical Darlings are simply taking the world by storm."

“You hear he’s good, but you don’t know how good until you see him…when the music begins it’s like nothing you’ve ever heard before. To say his music is original is an understatement. His music and ideas are fresh, new, unexplored and completely original.”

Wormgear Magazine
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