Dead Confederate release cover of seven-year-old song by Boston's Officer May
Unless you were hanging out in Allston in the early aughts, chances are you've never heard of OFFICER MAY. Phoenix readers may recall that we fucking loved those guys back in 2003, and have continued to adore pretty much everything that frontman CHRIS WARREN has put out, including his post-OM bands DIRTY HOLIDAY and BEAT AWFULS, a ridculously unsung solo album and not-often-enough releases by his latest band, VIVA VIVA.
But there's at least one high-profile band that hasn't forgotten about Officer May. That'd be Athens, Georgia's DEAD CONFEDERATE, who've just released a free-to-download live album that kicks off with a lacerating cover of the title track from Officer May's final album, SMOKING IN A MINOR.
A quick YouTube search also turns up a video of the Athens supergroup JOHN COUGAR TRAININGCAMP (which featured members of Dead Confederate) covering the same Officer May track earlier this year, alongside covers of Nirvana and the Velvet Underground. As shocked as we are to see Dead Confederate so heavily championing a wholly unknown and defunct band like Officer May, it's not difficult to understand why. Both bands rather uncannily channeled the spirit -- in oblique but recognizable ways -- of Kurt Cobain. More specifically, they seemed to draw upon the piercing energy of Bleach-era Nirvana, when Cobain's music still sounded rural, wiry, weird, and unfinished. There are exactly three bands who've ever managed to make something credibly new and engaging out of those ashes. Dead Confederate and Officer May are two of them. (The third, we'd argue, was Verbena.)
In any case, we hope this begins to get the word out about what an awesome band
OFFICER MAY were, and hastens their addition to the post-grunge canon, leading perhaps to some ridiculous reunion-show
offers for All Tomorrow's Parties 2018 when the next revival
sets in. Above, you can click on the widget to listen or download Dead Confederate's version. Below: the original, in studio and live versions.
DOWNLOAD: Officer May, "Smoking In A Minor" (mp3)