ARTIST: Bettie Serveert
YEAR RELEASED: 1992
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Tom Boy, Palomine, Kid’s Alright
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Not on the radio, but maybe you heard some while passing the hipster’s dorm rooms.
LINEUP: Carol van Dijk, Peter Visser, Herman Bunskoeke, Berend Dubbe
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Dutch band releases first album full of distorty guitars and intriguing vocals and melodies.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Bettie Serveert were the independent darlings of 1993. As the indie publications had already moved past grunge they latched on to various bands and scenes in scoping out the next big indie thing. This record filled that bill.
It’s got some catchy songs, a definite guitar sound (not grungy, not shoegaze, but it uses tasteful distortion for an effect) and a noticeable vocalist in van Dijk, who can sound distant like any good European but can also exude some warmth. It made enough of an impression to have the albums poster on the wall of the store in Empire Records. Maybe that was because of the dog?
This record is a bit uneven for me. The slower, ponderous songs don’t move me as much as the poppier numbers. It falls a bit shot of the hype but it’s still a great example of what else was going on in the indie scene while the world was grunging out.
NOTES & MINUTAE: The group took their name after a book written by Dutch tennis player Betty Stove.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: There’s a CD only track.
GRADE: B+: The highs of this album are definite highs – bright and tuneful. I’m warming to the slower tracks but still they tend to be glacial at times to get where they need to go.