Bettie Serveert “Pharmacy of Love”

Second Motion Records 2010

Holland’s Bettie Serveert are troopers, man. They have been around for years, stubbornly putting out records for a public whose interest has been steadily waning. This makes me happy, though–it’s a true sign that you really can’t keep a good tune down. Maybe that’s why “Pharmacy of Love” was made in the first place.

“Deny All”, the first track on the record, is representative of this stubbornness. It rocks, even in a way uncharacteristic of Bettie Serveert. At first, it almost seems like they are trying too hard to shove a rock record down our throats. But by the time “Love Lee” begins, it becomes apparent the band still has that charm about them everyone fell in love with on “Palomine” back in the nineties. The lead guitar work and sugary vocals are pure power pop gold, and the band has an overall chemistry of one much younger than themselves.

Several other songs hit the mark. “Calling”, the 9-minute centerpiece of the record, seems to be a feedback jerk-off session until the looming bass line gives way to wonderfully frenetic drum patterns and a haunting, complacent vocal line from Carol van Dijk. Still one of the best female singers in rock, van Dijk’s voice continues to melt the hearts of record geeks like myself to this day. “It’s just a metaphor for what you’re looking for,” she sings playfully on “Souls Travel”, another of the album’s standouts. On “Pharmacy”, she sings with a wisdom that only time–and horrible missteps like 2004’s disco-influenced “Attagirl”–can bring. She seems quite relaxed, and perhaps less preoccupied with the opinions of others, in her performances on the album.

Though “Pharmacy of Love” does not break any musical ground, it reveals a more relaxed, confident version of Bettie Serveert as compared with their last few records. Also, it offers sanctuary for music fans in need of some good old unpretentious guitar rock in a time where singers may as well be called warblers, and sweet lead licks and great melodies are equally hard to come by. ****

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , ,

One Response to “Bettie Serveert “Pharmacy of Love””

  1. Record Geek Heaven: Bettie Serveert “Pharmacy of Love” « The Dead Girls Project Says:

    […] Holland’s Bettie Serveert are troopers, man. They have been around for years, stubbornly putting out records for a public whose interest has been steadily waning. This makes me happy, though–it’s a true sign that you really can’t keep a good tune down. Maybe that’s why “Pharmacy of Love” was made in the first place. Read the rest of this entry […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: