Premiere: Western Education give a synth-rock polish to Justin Bieber’s ‘I’ll Show You’

With a Purpose either intended or not, the new Justin Bieber album is a cultural phenomenon. The maligned pop singer has gone from teen obsession to mainstream superstar on the hustle of two related efforts: a carefully cleaned up image and attitude restoration process that gave permission for the world to make fun of him (a course that successfully began exactly a year ago with his Comedy Central Roast), and a really strong new modern pop record that has appealed to those who don’t necessarily care for pop music. Seriously, people are really into Purpose.

Everyone from Alessia Cara to the 1975 have taken turns with covers, and those in Boston have gotten into the fun as well (see mar | co’s take on “Love Yourself”). This morning, Lowell synth-rock band Western Education, a semi-finalist in the 2014 Rock And Roll Rumble and creators of killer modern rock songs like “All I Am” and “Rivals”, have jumped keyboard-first into the Bieber pool with a cover of “I’ll Show You”, a rather overlooked Skrillex- and Blood-produced track on the Bieb’s new album.

Listen to it below via a live video filmed by Regina Alongi at Kennedy Studios in Burlington, the joint owned and operated by the Color and Sound.

“We chose this cover in particular because we felt that in terms of all the strong songs on the new Bieber record, we could really make this one our own,” says frontman Greg Alexandropoulos. “Changing synthesizer parts to guitar leads, adding extra layers, I really think we made it sound like a Western Education song.”

Adds guitarist Georgio Broufas: “I thought changing the synth lead into a guitar lead would give it a more modern rock feel, and it definitely did, especially with real drums added on. The Bieber album was so heavily promoted that the song kind of fell into our laps. The band had the right instrumentation to make the song work, while having it still sound like a West Ed song.”

Stay tuned for original new music from Western Education later in the year. In the meantime, give in to all things Bieber with their “I’ll Show You” cover below.