Against Lee!

We’ve been none too shy about our fondness for Against Me!’s major label debut. As if dating Claire Danes for a bunch of years wasn’t enough, Ben Lee went and one-upped our AM! love by ably covering New Wave start to finish — on top of that, he’s graciously offering it as a free download over at his blog. Why the homage to a record that’s only been out a month? Lee explains:

A couple of weeks ago I downloaded the new Against Me! album New Wave. I didn’t really know too much about this band but had been reading lots of good things about it, and my friend Tegan sings on it (ed’s note: She sings on “Borne on the FM Waves of the Heart” ? and yup, it’s Tegan of & Sara fame). I like to keep myself up to date with what’s going on musically in the world, so I checked it out. I fell in love with the album. Really. Like, couldn’t stop listening to it. As heavy and gnarly as it sounds at times, it is unmistakably a pop masterpiece.

Listening to it on the way to Australia, I wondered to myself how these songs would sound acoustically. A couple of days later I was on a flight from Sydney to Melbourne and had the thought “I’d love to cover this album.” The whole thing. Beginning to end. So I did.

We’re hosting “New Wave” because it’s the first song, a sorta intro, and Lee does a great job stuffing the original’s anthemic upswing into strummed, still anthemic acoustic pop.

Ben Lee – “New Wave” (MP3)

By the way, Ben’s onto something ? Against Me!’s releasing unplugged versions of “New Wave” and “Animal” via iTunes on 9/4, along with that goofy, wine-soaked “Thrash Unreal” video. Ah, what the heck: Here’s Lee’s truly excellent version of “Thrash Unreal,” too.

Ben Lee – “Thrash Unreal” (MP3)

Grab the rest over at Ben’s blog. When not covering Against Me!, Lee’s dropping multi-colored, water-balloon smashing videos, like this one for “Love Me Like The World Is Ending.” (Pretty slick suit!)

And when Against Me! isn’t being covered by Ben Lee, they’re being Captain Perfect-baiting, hat-grabbing jokesters on Pancake Mountain.

We’re glad to see everyone’s multi-tasking.