Acclaimed Dutch indie rock band, Bettie Serveert release their ninth studio album, Pharmacy of Love. In their almost two decade career, they have released albums on Matador Records as well as their own Palomine Records before settling in their new home, Second Motion Records.
The band considers among its peers groups like Dinosaur Jr, Superchunk, and Buffalo Tom. The major difference between Bettie Serveert and those bands is Bettie’s lead singer is a woman. The band’s approach to music is not so different from late 80s and early 90s alternative bands, but Carol van Dyk’s strong presence as the front woman makes the band stand out. If I had to compare them to someone, they remind me of Letters to Cleo; a strong front woman playing music that straddles the border between power pop and alternative rock.
The song “The Pharmacy” seems to be fairly representative of the band’s sound. It starts off with a strong bass/drum intro that’s reminiscent of the Pixies‘ “Gouge Away”. As the song gets going, Van Dyk’s voice has an almost Shirley Manson quality to it with the guitars rotating from loud power chords to jangle pop arpeggios.
The album does feature a couple slower numbers that really drag down the pace, but otherwise, the album is pretty solid. With only nine tracks on the CD, the couple slower songs pulls down the album’s rating but the good songs really stand out as some of the best in the Bettie Serveert catalog.