Bettie Serveert

Bettie Serveert

Log 22

Palomine / Hidden Agenda

The Dutch seem to take droll pleasure in speaking flawless English and refining Anglo music forms. Carving out a special space in pop from Holland for well over a decade is Bettie Serveert (literally “Bettie Serves” after an instructional book by tennis champ Betty Stöve), whose unique blend of seductive vocals, bespectacled lyrics, and unexpected guitar rock is nothing short of the archetype all rock/pop bands should shoot for. Carol Van Dijk’s vocals — clear, cool and uncomplicated like a nightstand glass of water — and the inventive and consistently flawless music from the band exist happily together, bound by some of the sharpest songwriting you’re likely to hear. The band rocks and does so honestly, never attempting to overplay or underplay their songs for effect. While many “back to roots” acts these days are contriving to dumb down their sound, Bettie Serveert carefully crafts each track for the simple pleasure of doing it right.

Take for example “Captain of Maybe.” Slow and steady, with muted keening keyboards in the background serving as seagulls, the song is part sea shanty and part power ballad, with Van Dijk’s vocals perfectly capturing the ambivalence and potential spoken of in the lyric. In contrast, “Smack” is a brief playful rocker, whose loose-limbed groove has a nice musical slap that responds each time the word “smack” appears and whose chorus tosses in chirpy electronic freakouts. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Bettie Serveert album without a wink and nod to the Velvet Underground. This time around it’s “White Dogs,” echoing VU in their Loaded period several times in its epic eight-minute length from its strummy acoustics playing a two chord figure to its buildup and opening of the floodgates.

Those familiar with the band will find that little has changed here. Log 22 is a collection of apparently simple songs whose catchiness is quickly overtaken by the many quirks and details the band puts into their music. Bettie Serveert’s output dwarfs — in both quantity and quality — the work of similar, better-known acts like Garbage and Elastica. If strong female-fronted alternative rock is your gig and you haven’t done so already, you owe it to yourself to tap Bettie Serveert’s vein. You’ll be sure to strike gold just about anywhere you strike, and Log 22 is an excellent place to start.

Parasol: http://www.parasol.com • Bettie Serveert: http://www.bettieserveert.com/

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band
    Preservation Hall Jazz Band

    So It Is (Legacy). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Justin Townes Earle
    Justin Townes Earle

    Kids In The Street (New West Records). Review by James Mann.

  • From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017
    From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017

    For the twelfth year, the South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) in Los Angeles showcased an impressive lineup of new features and shorts. Lily and Generoso Fierro provide a festival wrap up and their picks for the films that you cannot miss.

  • Christian Scott
    Christian Scott

    Rebel Ruler (Ropeadope / Stretch Music). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Kivanç Sezer
    Kivanç Sezer

    Turkish director Kivanç Sezer’s powerful debut feature, My Father’s Wings, puts the spotlight on the workplace safety crisis that is currently taking place in his homeland. Lily and Generoso Fierro spoke with Sezer at SEEFest 2017 about his film and his need to draw attention to this issue.

  • Temples
    Temples

    Supporting their just-released sophomore record, UK synth-pop poster boys, Temples, attracted an SRO crowd to one of Orlando’s premier nightspots.

  • Rat Film
    Rat Film

    Baltimore. Rats. A match made in Maryland.

  • Bishop Briggs
    Bishop Briggs

    Bishop Briggs brings a stacked bill of up and comers to Orlando for a sold-out party at The Social. Jen Cray joins in the fun.

  • Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World
    Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

    There’s more than black music influencing the evolution of Rock and Roll. Native American rhymes and ideas are every bit as significant, once you know to look for them.

  • Keith Morris
    Keith Morris

    Ink 19 slings a few questions to the punk rock pioneer Keith Morris on Trump, Calexit and looking back.

From the Archives