Hailing from the vibrant music scene of Nashville, Friendship Commanders is a formidable heavy duo, consisting of vocalist/guitarist Buick Audra and drummer/bassist Jerry Roe. Their latest release, “High Sun,” serves as a compelling glimpse into their forthcoming album, MASS—an ambitious concept record that delves into the realms of memory, language, and the enigmatic state of Massachusetts. Co-produced, engineered, and mixed by the legendary Kurt Ballou at GodCity in Salem, MA, this ten-track body of work is accompanied by a memoir in essays by Buick Audra, creating a multidimensional experience set to make waves upon its release on September 29, 2023.
Friendship Commanders’ musical journey can be traced back to their 2016 album, Dave, which they engineered and produced themselves. This was followed by their 2018 release, Bill, recorded at Electrical Audio by the renowned Steve Albini. Their 2020 EP, Hold on to Yourself, delved into the complex themes of adulthood and surviving childhood abuse. Throughout the pandemic-ridden year of 2022, the band continued their sonic exploration with a collection of singles, culminating in the limited vinyl compilation EP, Release the Rest, all mixed by the talented Kurt Ballou.
With “High Sun,” Friendship Commanders, lead by songwriter, lyricist, guitarist and vocalist, Buick Audra, showcase their undeniable sonic prowess, drawing inspiration from the alt-rock giants of the ’90s while forging a sound that is uniquely their own. Reminiscent of the raw energy and emotive intensity of bands like Smashing Pumpkins, their heavy distorted guitar work serves as a driving force, unleashing a sonic assault that leaves a lasting impression. The walls of sound they create are as visceral as they are enthralling, enveloping the listener in a whirlwind of sonic fury.
Behind the kit, the band’s drummer/bassist Jerry Roe delivers big hitting drums that reverberate through the core of each track. The percussive onslaught brings an undeniable weight to their music, infusing each beat with an unrelenting power that propels the songs forward with unwavering force. The rhythm section serves as the foundation upon which the band’s sonic architecture is built, creating a formidable backbone that commands attention.
Lyrically, Friendship Commanders demonstrate their aptitude for introspection and emotional depth. “High Sun” offers glimpses into their forthcoming concept album, MASS, with themes of memory and the enigmatic nature of language. Their ability to seamlessly blend personal experiences with broader conceptual ideas adds an intellectual and emotional depth to their music that transcends the confines of a traditional heavy duo.
With “High Sun,” Friendship Commanders assert their rightful place in the contemporary heavy music landscape, combining their nostalgic nods to the alt-rock era with a fresh, invigorating approach. Their forthcoming album, MASS, promises to be a captivating exploration of memory, language, and the enigmatic state of Massachusetts, set to leave an indelible mark on the musical landscape.
Friendship Commanders’ “High Sun” stands as a testament to their artistic evolution and unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries. It is a sonic triumph that demands attention, leaving listeners hungry for more of their fierce and uncompromising musical offerings. As the release of MASS and its accompanying memoir approaches, anticipation mounts.