Oops! Sorry! Didn’t see that you posted the original at the bottom. Just now heard it.
I think this is going to come down to if your goal is to emulate the original or if you think you can improve it. This is a little more in-line with stuff I’m familiar and comfortable with than the heavier rock stuff that’s coming from that site recently.
After listening to their example mix, I think there were some major blunders in the production starting with the guitars. This tracking job was absolutely unacceptable on a number of levels. My own stuff is far from perfect and I make as many mixing mistakes as anyone here, but if I was a label A&R guy that had just written a check to have this song cut, I’d be very cranky if that’s what I was handed. Regardless, I think this is really great practice for someone aspiring to mix because mixes like these present problems and scenarios that get thrown at you from time to time in real life.
Its really hard to know what to do here without seeing the original tracks, because I can’t tell where some of the problems are and what’s fixable and what’s not. I totally respect that Jon-Jon didn’t want to send me samples of the tracks. That’s understandable.