I am a HUGE Ben Lee fan. I discovered him later in my life, but once I did, it was over. It was love. I knew he was in a band called Noise Addict when he was basically still a kid, but never really listened to any of it; his solo stuff had captured my heart and I just stayed with that. Until today.
Last weekend at our swap I had the opportunity to trade for Noise Addict’s “Meet the Real You” on vinyl. This could be the best trade I ever made — and I gave up one of my prized INXS albums for it, which if you know me, says a lot.
Noise Addict was made up of my love, Ben Lee on vocals and guitar, Doron Kalinko on guitar, Saul Smith on drums, and Daniel Kohn on Bass. They released a couple of EPs in 1993 and 1994, finding it difficult to find time to record because, well, they had to go to school. And that made touring pretty much impossible. That’s one of the things that’s so amazing about the greatness of these guys. They were teenagers. Children basically, compared to my oldness!
This album, Meet the Real You, is the only full length album released by the band. By the time this came out in 1995, Ben Lee had already done a solo album called Grandpaw Would. Immmediately after that, Meet the Real You was released, and then the band broke up.
Totally different from Lee’s solos stuff — Meet the Real you is punky and heavy and fast and noisy. Noisy in a great way. But his voice and lyrics still come through loud and clear and I know that had I been lucky enough to live on Bondi Beach in Australia in 1995, I would have been stalking these guys.
The album starts with “Body Scrabs & Bizzos.” I have no idea what a Body Scrab is. I am pretty confident that Bizzo is a girl… Perhaps one of my Aussie friends can help me with the latter, as Google was no help. The lyrics point to the youth of the band members and that they have finally found their “home” in music:
“And you don’t need to go too fast
Cause where you’re happy is your home”
“Bezerk at Cirumbin” on side one is another that I really loved:
“Drift right through my life
Then you drift right out back again
Cause you got your song
And now you’re gone”
The ender is what got me though — “Exorcism Babe” — It’s my favorite on the album and prompted me to flip back to side one and re-listen to the entire thing:
“And I know for all my tears
I’ll write a song, I’ll have a band
And when I die, someone will care”
Oh yes, young Ben Lee. I promise you, many will care.