Friendship Commanders – Bill (Steve Albini Mixes)

Back in 2018, Friendship Commanders released their explosive full-length album BILL. The record was recorded and produced by Steve Albini (and the band) at Electrical Audio in Chicago. Drummer Jerry Roe mixed the record and by all measures, it’s a fantastic record. If you’ve never heard it, prepare yourself for a big rock record with tons of energy and immersive emotive vocals from Buick Audra.

On July 22nd, the band will release an alternate mix of the six year old album that was mixed by Steve Albini. You can hear the first track, “Outlive You” over on the band’s Bandcamp page. I’ve also taken the liberty of embedding the original mix and the Albini mix back to back so you can easily hear them back to back. It’s often hard to pinpoint the differences in alternate mixes like this – largely because the mix is not the only change. The original album was mastered by Matthew Barnhart at Chicago Mastering Service, the Albini mixes by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege. Technology has changed, techniques have changed, etc. That is to say, there’s a myriad of tweaks at play here but the result feels much fuller and much more raw. This makes sense given Albini’s penchant for keeping things simple.

It’s a fascinating listen and there’s only one song available so far! Here’s what the band has to say about the project:

For Steve, who changed our lives.

This album was originally released in October of 2018, and the mixes that were used were done by Jerry Roe at Fort Knockout in Nashville TN, mastered by Matthew Barnhart at Chicago Mastering in Chicago IL. We always planned on releasing the Albini mixes. Always. But we kept writing and releasing new work and the right moment never seemed to present itself. We didn’t imagine that Steve would ever pass. It was a joy to make this record with him; his mixes are reflective of the loud, lovely time we all had together. They’re guitar-forward, angular, and dynamic. And now it’s time to share them. We’ll miss Steve for the rest of our lives but feel immense gratitude that we had this experience together—and that we have this work to show for it. We’re releasing the full album on July 22, which would have been Steve’s 62nd birthday. We offer this work up in celebration of his life and many legacies. We hope you love it as much as we do.

Thankful that the band is willing to share these. Looking forward to July 22nd when we can hear the entire record.